“It’s a complete lockdown so I spend my time working on fitness in the morning and evening”
New Delhi: India star paddler Manika Batra is currently at her home in New Delhi as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day complete lockdown in the country in order to tackle the threat posed by coronavirus pandemic. Currently placed at 47th rank as per ITTF rankings, Batra was expected to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics due to her high ranking. But now, COVID-19 scare has led to postponement of the Games, and the Indian table tennis player is keeping herself busy with ‘dance’ and ‘motivational stories’.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, the 24-year-old gave a glimpse of her life under lockdown. “Well it’s a complete lockdown so I spend my time working on fitness in the morning and evening. I read some motivational and inspirational online stories to keep myself mentally fit in these difficult times. I also keep myself updated with the current news regarding prevailing situation,” Batra said.
The gyms and the usual fitness hubs in Delhi are closed at the moment, so Manika is working on her fitness at her home. “I do skipping, stretching and normal exercise in my room and balcony of the apartment. It’s a safe environment,” she said.
Apart from her fitness regime, Manika says she is also finding time to get back to pursue her other hobbies such as dancing and reading. “I am just getting more time to dance and as dance is also a good exercise. I also like to read books and as of now I am reading – Good vibes, Good Life by Vex King. Of course I also love music and Netflix. There is no particular song which I enjoy but I like listening to music on which I can dance,” she said.
The postponement of Tokyo Olympics is being viewed as a good omen for Indian table-tennis contingent, which has been rising steadily in stature over the past few years. One more year of preparation might give Indian paddlers more time to prepare, train and challenge for the elusive Olympic medal. Batra says she is being positive about the same at the moment.
“Well I am a positive person. Whatever happens, it happens for good. So yes, we will get more time now and we will make or change our plans accordingly to qualify first and then to put on a good show in the Olympics next year,” she said.
Amid the period of uncertainty posed by the nationwide lockdown, Manika believes the general public need to remain indoors and follow the guidelines laid down by the government. “It’s very important for everyone to stay at home for our betterment and also others around us. I appeal to everyone to be at home as much as you can. Please step out if there is a case of emergency or if you need any essential goods and follow government advisory strictly,” she said. (Courtesy: Hindustan Times)