75 years of independence, 75 iconic moments from Indian sports: No 57 – April 14, 2018: Manika Batra wins India’s first table tennis gold in women’s singles at CWG 2018

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes.  Sportstar will present one iconic sporting achievement each day, leading up to August 15, 2022.

April 14, 2018: Manika Batra wins India’s first table tennis gold in women’s singles at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

India’s paddlers have enjoyed a fruitful run in the Commonwealth Games, but on Saturday, all that seemed a prelude to a historic moment — Manika Batra provided India’s first ever gold medal in the women’s singles category in the Games.

Manika’s win also put an end to the Singaporean supremacy in the discipline. Manika defeated Mengyu Yu in straight sets, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7, and with utmost ease. The Indian seemed to be in a hurry as she hardly gave any room for her rival to bring out her range of shots from her arsenal.

READ: ‘I kept telling myself I could win,’ says Manika Batra

Megyu was left stunned as Manika carried on with her attacking game. She moved away when the offence got going but returned quickly enough to put the ball wide of the Singaporean with a mix of smashes and well-timed drop shots.

‘Easy final’

Little wonder, then, that Manika, exhausted after a long day, was virtually dazed at her own accomplishment before she regaining composure to comment on her impressive performance.

She said, “The experience here has been a quite noteworthy one, though it will take some time to sink in that I am now the Commonwealth Games champion. But then, I have been working hard for this day, which has been a very good one for me. It was a tough semifinal against Tianwei Feng, the World No. 4. but it was an easy final. I am feeling very happy from inside and am proud of my country.”

(This article was first published on 14 April, 2018)

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