Table Tennis Federation of India on Tuesday called Manika Batra’s decision to not take the help of national coach Soumyadeep Roy during her matches at the Tokyo Olympics as an “act of indiscipline” and she will certainly face action when its Executive Board meets early next month.
Roy, who is a 2006 Commonwealth Games team event gold medallist and an Arjuna awardee, is the only coach who travelled with the four-member team to Tokyo.
Batra had taken her personal coach Sanmay Paranajpe to the Games but he was only allowed to train with her and the player’s request for his Field of Play access was denied by the organisers.
“It is surely an act of indiscipline. She should have let the national coach sit court-side during her matches just like the other players did. Roy has been one of India’s best players and is a reputed coach now.
“The Executive Board will meet soon virtually and decide on the action against her for this indiscipline,” TTFI secretary general Arun Kumar Banerjee told PTI from Tokyo.
What action TTFI takes against its high-profile player remains to be seen but it is certain that attendance of all India players will be made mandatory for national camps.
Batra attended the national camp in Sonepat ahead of the Games for just three days when the camp lasted more than three weeks.
Incidentally, G Sathiyan, who lost in the opening round in Tokyo, also chose to train with his personal coach like Batra did. However unlike Batra, Roy was seen sitting in Sathiyan’s corner during his second round encounter.
India’s campaign at the Games ended on Tuesday when veteran Sharath Kamal went down fighting against reigning champion Ma Long of China in the round of 32.
Batra, ranked 62, also did well to reach the round of 32 after beating world number 32 in the second round. Roy happens to be the personal coach of Sutirtha Mukherjee who lost in the second round in her first Olympics.
“Manika played well and we are proud of her achievements but she did wrong by not having Roy by her side,” added Banerjee.
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