NEW DELHI, Nov 6: India�s star female table tennis player Manika Batra feels she has made significant strides ever since moving her training base to Pune in February, justifying her bitter separation from childhood coach Sandeep Gupta.
The 24-year-old knew �people� will make a �big deal� out of her decision to part ways with Gupta, who was bestowed with the Dronacharya Award in August, but she felt the call was needed to improve her game.
Their two-decade old association went so sour that they are not on talking terms anymore. She now trains with Sanmay Paranjape.
The �improvement� is also reflecting in the ITTF rankings in which she jumped 18 places in the last two months to be world number 61, following her round of 32 finish in German and Sweden Open.
�I felt a lot more confident about my game and my movement in Germany and at Sweden Open. I can see the improvement. The playing environment in Pune really is positive and all my training partners are working hard with me as well for themselves,� Manika, who is now an Asics athlete, told PTI in an interaction.
Manika, a multiple-time CWG gold medallist and Asian Games bronze medallist, is confident of returning to the top-50 soon. �Physically I need to be stronger so that I can move better around the table. In table tennis, reflexes are very important. Everyone says I am tall so I can reach easily but reaching with hands is not enough, you have to be equally fast with your leg movement. I am working on that,� said Manika. � PTI