Indian Table Tennis Federation attacks Manika Batra



Supreme body awaits reports from Director MP Singh and Soumyadeep Roy, says Arun Banerjee



Manika Batra’s refusal to allow national table tennis coach Soumyadeep Roy to stay in his corner during the Tokyo Olympics has not been welcomed by the Indian Table Tennis Federation (TTFI). According to Arun Banerjee, the secretary of the federation, the supreme body is awaiting reports from director MP Singh and Roy and “vigorous action will be taken against the lost paddler”.

Manika insisted on having her personal trainer Sanmay Paranjape in her singles matches who did not have access to the competition venue since Soumyadeep is the designated national coach.

“What she did is unforgivable. She also alleged that Soumyadeep is Suthirtha Mukherjee’s personal trainer. It’s wrong. She trains in her academy (Soumyadeep Poulomi UTT Table Tennis Academy), that’s all. Manika knew from the start that Soumyadip is the national coach and due to covid-19 regulations only 33% of the team will be coach and support staff.

“His trainer (Sanmay) received the P category accreditation card, which allowed him to have training sessions with Manika. I don’t know why she made such a fuss. We are waiting for the manager and the coach’s report and action will be taken after that.

“We are coming back on Saturday. I want to have an executive committee meeting in the first week of August. The committee will decide the fate of Manika, ”said Banerjee The telegraph from Tokyo on Tuesday.

“We have sent the names of Sanmay and S Raman (Sathiyan Gnanasekaran’s personal trainer) to the IOA. But these are extraordinary times. So they had access to training sessions. It was very unprofessional on Manika’s part not to leave Soumyadeep in her corner. It left a bitter taste in the mouth for everyone involved, ”he added.

Manika lost to Austrian and No. 10 seed Sofia Polcanova 8-11, 2-11, 5-11, 7-11 in the third round. Manika separated from her longtime trainer Sandeep Gupta in March 2019 and moved to Pune to work with Sanmay.

A source, however, doubted that TTFI would have the courage to take a heavy toll on the star paddler. “It’s a big name. I will be the last person to believe that action will be taken against her. What was the federation doing when it did not attend the Tokyo camp in Sonepat? Were the officials asleep? In TTFI there are different rules for different people. If anyone else had done this, she would have been quickly hung up. They play hard with gentle people. It always has been, ”the source said.

The source also questioned the rationale for Sumyadeep’s criticism after Sathiyan withdrew in the first round.

Raman said Soumyadeep did not push Sathiyan enough during the match. “Okay, when a paddler loses, it’s the coach’s fault. And he wins the merit goes to the player. Funny isn’t it? Tell me one thing, for a year and a half, Soumyadeep has hardly worked with him. So now, why blame him for Sathiyan’s untimely exit?

“How would he know about Sathiyan’s game?” This is where the importance of the national camps lies. When you don’t go to camps, it must be the result. Even Manika refused to come because she thought it would disrupt her training plans. I hope TTFI will make it compulsory for every table tennis player to attend the camps, ”he said.


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