Manika Batra, India’s top table tennis player, makes a surprising admission: “My national coach had pressured me to engage in match-fixing”

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Manika Batra
Source: Twitter

The Indian delegation’s performance at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics was one of the most successful in the competition’s history. However, there was a lot of discussion about it. The fact that Indian table tennis star Manika Batra was spotted playing her matches without her national coach Soumyadeep Roy by her side was one of the talking topics during the Olympics. Instead, the 26-year-old was seen in the stands receiving instructions from her personal coach, Sanmay Paranjape.

The Indian delegation’s performance at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics was one of the most successful in the competition’s history. However, there was a lot of discussion about it. The fact that Indian table tennis star Manika Batra was spotted playing her matches without her national coach Soumyadeep Roy by her side was one of the talking topics during the Olympics. Instead, the 26-year-old was seen in the stands receiving instructions from her personal coach, Sanmay Paranjape.

In India, is there match-fixing in table tennis?

“During the March 2021 qualification event in Doha, the national coach pressed me to yield my match to his pupil in order for her to qualify for the Olympics – in other words, to engage in match-fixing… I have evidence of the occurrence and am prepared to present it to the relevant authorities when the time comes. The national coach personally met me in my hotel room and spoke with me for over 20 minutes after requesting me to relinquish the match “Manika remarked.

Manika explained her choice to play in Tokyo without Soumyadeep Roy, saying she wanted to avoid the demoralising effect of such a coach since she thought it was her responsibility to serve her country in the best possible way as a player representing India.

TTFI flatly denied the claim: Manika Batra

The 26-year-old also questioned the federation’s lack of swift action on the matter. Batra stated that she had informed a TTFI official about the situation, but that no action had been done against Soumyadeep Roy.

Manika remarked, “I was wrongly accused of “bringing dishonour to the country by the sight of an empty coach chair.” The ’empty chair,’ however, was the product of the national coach’s match-fixing pressure tactics and the TTFI’s failure to act on my quick reporting of the occurrence, not of my alleged indiscipline.”

She disclosed that she had addressed the subject of the national coach’s match rigging pressure methods again in an e-mail dated August 14, 2021, but TTFI flatly denied the allegations without even conducting a preliminary, unbiased, and transparent investigation. “Finally, to restate and summarise, I have done nothing illegal by playing my matches alone,” said Manika

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