The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) executive committee will decide on action against Manika Batra after the national contingent returns from the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. The statement from the body is with respect to Batra’s refusal to have national coach, Soumyadeep Roy, by her side during one of the games.
The table tennis star bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics after losing to Austrian Sofia Polcanova in the third round of women’s singles on Monday. Her mixed doubles campaign with Sharath Kamal came to an end after the pair lost in the Round of 16.
Manika Batra had refused to take guidance from national coach, Soumyadeep Roy, before her first match against British Tin-Tin Ho on Saturday. The Commonwealth gold medallist had earlier requested India’s chef-de-mission, BP Baishya, to allow the field of play (FOP) access for her personal coach, Sanmay Paranjape. However, the access wasn’t granted despite Paranjape getting a last-minute approval to travel to Tokyo.
TTFI Secretary General Arun Kumar Banerjee had said at the time, “We are not against players but she should tell this to the government. Last-minute her personal coach got approval to travel to Tokyo but FOP access was not granted to him,“
“I think keeping this incident in mind we will have to make a rule if this happens next time who will take a call,” he added.
“To say her coach was not allowed with her is wrong on Manika’s part,” TTFI Secretary General on Tokyo Olympics athlete, Manika Batra
TTFI Secretary General, Arun Kumar Banerjee said on Tuesday that star player, Manika Batra’s refusal to have national coach, Soumyadeep Roy, by her side during one of the games will be taken up for discussion once the contingent returns from the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
Banerjee said that it was unprofessional for Manika to call Roy, fellow Olympian Sutirtha Mukherjee’s personal coach. “Personal coach is a wrong statement. Sutirtha plays in Soumyadeep’s academy, but he is the national coach. To say her coach was not allowed with her is wrong on Manika’s part. She knew before leaving from India what is the access of the coaches. All the players and coaches know the extent of access each has,” he said.
Banerjee further said that Manika Batra’s demand that her coach, Sanmay Paranjape, be in place of the national coach in Tokyo, knowing the former’s access is wrong.
“Manika had applied for personal coach, we had recommended as well. When you know his access, to come to Tokyo and demand that her coach be there in place of Soumyadeep is wrong. To call him the personal coach of Sutirtha is wrong as he had taken national camp even before coming to Tokyo. The criteria is fixed and I asked Soumyadeep to speak to manager MP Singh and report it as he is there. I strongly oppose this,” he told ANI.
He was further asked if this was unwanted from Batra, he answered, “What is on her mind I can’t say. Surprised she brought this up here after knowing the criteria. I will discuss this with the executive committee and decide what action needs to be taken. We have to bring this up when we are back,“