The ‘Golden Girl’ Manika Batra has been recommended for the prestigious Arjuna Award by the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) on Friday. She is the country’s only quadruple medallist at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games.

“We sent her nomination today. With such a strong performance in Gold Coast, it will be very difficult for the (government) committee to ignore her,” a TTFI official said.

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At Gold Coast, after guiding the Indian women’s team to a historic gold, and claiming the women’s doubles silver in table tennis, Manika scripted history as the first Indian woman to bag the gold medal in table tennis singles final. Manika trounced each competition with grit and determination and became an overnight sensation back at home. She secured a women’s doubles silver alongside Mouma Das and mixed doubles bronze with G Sathiyan.

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She had reached the quarterfinals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. A year later, Manika helped India bag a team silver and women’s doubles silver in the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship. She qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics by winning the South Asia Group qualification tournament.

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Batra becomes Indian sports’ new poster girl and even PM Narendra Modi poured accolades for her. She returned home to a grand welcome ceremony.

She clinched four medals in Gold Coast. This was a historic moment for Indian table tennis. Manika will soon be off for her next assignment the World Championships, which begins in Sweden from April 29.

In Gold Coast 2018, Manika, currently world No.58, beat No.4 Tianwei Feng from Singapore twice. She also defeated Singapore’s Yu Mengyu two times.

The federation also recommended Harmeet Desai, who won gold for the Men’s team for the prestigious award.

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