2021 Tokyo Olympics | Manika Batra demands ‘venue access’ for personal coach

Indian Table Tennis star Manika Batra has requested to grant her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape, an upgraded Games accreditation, that would allow him ‘venue access’ for the field of play during the events. However, the permission, which is in the process, is yet to be granted.

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics is going to be a never-seen-before spectacle, with most of the events being held behind closed doors, while several other protocols are also in place. A major chunk of the Indian contingent has already touched down in Tokyo, with the event starting later this week.

Meanwhile, India’s top-ranked Table Tennis star Manika Batra, who already resumed her final lap of preparations at the Japanese capital, has raised an unusual request. She wants her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape’s to get an upgraded Games accreditation, that would allow him ‘venue access’ for the field of play during the women’s singles and mixed doubles event.

As things stand, Sanmay is accredited in the ‘P’ category that allows him only to visit Manika during the pre-Games training session as an ‘extra official’. Only P-TAP (Personal – Training Assistant Programme) accreditation allows a coach to access the venue, apart from visiting the athletes training hall.

“Yes, Manika has raised this demand to allow Sanmay access to the Games venue. I, as a chef-de-mission, can’t do anything on my own as the official list had come from the national Olympic committee (IOA). This issue has to be facilitated between the IOA and the Games organising committee (OC),” said India’s chef-de-mission B.P. Baishya, to TOI.

It is also learnt from reports that the NOC has already taken up the matter with the organisers and the contingent officials in Tokyo fast-tracking the process to grant Snmay an upgraded accreditation as soon as possible. Meanwhile, to avoid favouritism, the officials would also be requesting for a P-TAP up-gradation of three personal coaches in athletics and one each in golf and swimming.

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