Table Tennis: Sharath and Manika shine despite administrative crisis
Forty-year-old Sharath showed that age is just a number by winning a total of three gold medals, including a singles gold medal, at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. He has decided to retire after the 2024 Paris Olympics but in 2022, Sharath has also ventured into sports administration.
New Delhi. Veterans Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra have shone despite the administrative crisis in table tennis over the last 12 months. Forty-year-old Sharath showed that age is just a number by winning a total of three gold medals, including a singles gold medal, at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. He has decided to retire after the 2024 Paris Olympics but in 2022, Sharath has also ventured into sports administration. He has been elected as the Vice-Chairman of the Athletes Commission of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Apart from this, he has also been elected to the post of Joint President in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Players Association.
Sharath was belatedly but this year honored with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honour. She was given the award for her stellar performance at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games where she won the singles, team and mixed doubles titles with 24-year-old Sreeja Akula. Manika Batra, who won four medals in the Commonwealth Games 2018, was expecting a lot in the Birmingham Games but she could not bear the burden of expectations and had to return home without a medal. Three months later, however, he performed brilliantly in the Asia Cup in Bangkok. The Delhi girl won the bronze medal by defeating two top 10 players in a span of three days.
She became the first Indian player to win a medal in this competition. Table tennis, however, did not start the year on a good note with the Delhi High Court suspending the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) due to operational glitches. This raised apprehensions about players playing in international competitions including the Commonwealth Games. The court-appointed Committee of Administrators, however, did not allow the practice of the players to be affected.
After this, the newly elected office-bearers took charge earlier this month and the first task before them will be the organization of national competitions. The Committee of Administrators had to deal with court action apart from running the day-to-day affairs of the federation. At least four sportspersons – Manush Shah, Swastika Ghosh, Archana Kamath and Diya Chitale – have moved the court after being dropped from the Commonwealth Games team. Chitle was also successful in this and was included in the team going to Birmingham.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.
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