Just 2 days now before the commencement of the biggest sporting extravaganza of the world, the Tokyo Olympics 2020, a bit of a glitch has emerged out of the Indian contingent. India’s top-ranked female table – tennis player Manika Batra has demanded that her coach be allowed to each and every venue during the time when Manika would be busy taking on her Olympic opponents.
The star Indian paddler has requested India’s chef – de – mission BP Baishya to allow the field of play (FOP) access to her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape. The table tennis competition at the Olympics is slated to start on July 24. Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) secretary Arun Banerjee confirmed that Batra has indeed requested access for her personal coach.
Manika, the Gold Coast CWG gold medallist, has put forth an unusual demand that her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape’s ‘P’ (personal) category Games accreditation be upgraded to allow him ‘venue access’ for Field of Play (FOP) during her matches in the women’s singles and mixed doubles events. Sanjay’s current accreditation does not allow him venue access and the Pune – based coach can only visit Manika during her pre-games training sessions. Traveling as an “extra-official”, it was clearly indicated and known to both Manika and her coach that his selection for Tokyo has been done in the ‘P’ category. Only those with ‘P – TAP’ (Personal – Training Assist Programme) accreditation can access the venue, besides visiting the athlete’s training hall.
The latest Tweet by ANI states, ‘Table Tennis player Manika Batra requests Chef de mission Birendra Baishya to allow her personal coach for Filed of Play access. She has requested so. As of now, I don’t know whether her personal coach will be given FOP access or not: TTFI Secy Arun Banerjee to ANI’. The final decision is yet to be ascertained.