India’s table tennis star and World No. 62 Manika Batra on Saturday had refused to take national coach Soumyadeep Roy’s advice at the Tokyo Olympics during her first-round match, after her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape was not granted on-court access. Lot of controversy was attracted when no one was found sitting in the coach’s corner when Manika Batra defeated 94th-ranked Tin-Tin Ho of Britain 4-0.
As per a PTI report, Manika requested on-court access for her personal coach Paranajpe so that he could be court-side during her matches but team leader M P Singh, who is also a TTFI advisor and is in Tokyo, said her request was denied by the organisers.
“After her request for on-court access for her personal coach was denied, she refused to be coached by our national coach. I had to intervene in the matter but she also refused me to take Roy’s advice during the match,” Singh told PTI.
Manika Batra’s refusal to have national coach by her side during matches at Tokyo Olympics will be taken up for discussion, Table Tennis Federation of India (TIFF) Secretary General Arun Kumar Banerjee told ANI.
“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. 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.
Asked if this was unwanted from Manika, he said: “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.”