Manika Batra became the first Indian paddler to win a women singles gold at the Commonwealth Games here on Saturday, April 14.
Manika outplayed Mengyu Yu of Singapore 4-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7) to clinch the gold medal.
“I feel very proud to have won and even more prouder to have won for India. My aim was to win a gold medal for the country and I could do it,” said Manika.
Manika also admitted that she had played the best table tennis at the Games.
“I have never played better. In the first game I was down 1-6. I said to myself I can recover and win and I did,” she added.
Manika started off on a bad note as she was trailing 1-6 in the first game. But soon found her rhythm and made it 5-7 because of some errors on the backhand from her opponent.
The Indian player continued the same pace throughout the game and despite leading in the early stages of the game, Menyu lost the first game 7-11.
In the second game, Manika maintained a slender 4-3 lead through some quality backhand smashes and also returned her shots perfectly. Towards the end of the game, Manika raced away with couple of points and bagged the game.
World No. 58 Manika was in complete control and dominated the third game. The Indian player raced to a 4-1 lead, by forehand smashes and then never looked back.
Mengyu failed to return Manika’s top spin returns.
The fourth set saw Mengyu making a small comeback, counter-attacking Manika to close down the lead but at the end the Indian paddler proved superior and clinched the gold medal match with ease.