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World Table Tennis Day is celebrated on April 6

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New Delhi [India]April 6 (ANI): About two weeks ago, four Indian paddlers booked their tickets for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The achievement, while huge, came as no surprise and is reflected in the growing culture of table tennis in India by over the years.

On the occasion of World Table Tennis Day, a look at the top 5 milestone moments of Indian table tennis that have helped revive the sport in the country.

Chasing an Olympic Dream: At the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, four Indian paddlers – Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee – will face a strong challenge. While the quartet play in the respective singles categories, the pair Sharath and Manika will also represent the country in mixed doubles, which will be played at the Olympics for the first time, with the goal of waiting the country for an elusive medal in end the sport. in the Olympic games. The journey began for the first time ever at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, where the trio of Kamlesh Mehta, Sujay Ghorpade and Niyati Roy-Shah took part and recorded India’s first appearance in the TT at the prestigious event.

2006 CWG: Sensational Sharath: A six-foot lanky paddler from Tamil Nadu announced his arrival on the international circuit in the early 2000s and soon the world glimpsed the skills that the then ‘legend in the making’ of India had gained. Achanta Sharath Kamal took gold at the 2004 Commonwealth TT Championship and also made his first Olympic appearance that same year. Two years later, Sharath etched his name in history books and wrote a new chapter in the Indian TT when he outclassed local Melbourne favorite William Henzell and became the first Indian paddler to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. India’s current top-ranked paddler Sharath, who has a record nine national titles to his name, has eagerly prepared to produce a memorable show at his fourth Olympics at the Tokyo Games.

UTT and TTFI herald a new era: the strong domestic initiatives of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) were given new impetus when Vita Dani and Niraj Bajaj founded Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) in 2017. UTT ushered in a new era for the sport and ecosystem with a well-connected bottom-up approach connecting the groundwork to the existing TTFI initiatives, while introducing a world-class annual competition tournament. UTT has also provided a much-needed global platform where Indian players gain maximum international exposure, putting their shoulders under the best in the world. The first edition of the competition saw current Indian stars Manika Batra and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan announce their arrival on the big stage with breathtaking performances, while the next two seasons also witnessed the rise of young and emerging players such as Sutirtha Mukherjee, Manav Thakkar and Archana Kamath. .

2018 CWG: Manika’s Magic Show: The 2018 Commonwealth Games was the most successful edition in the history of the Indian TT as the contingent finished its campaign at No. 1 with three gold, two silver and three bronze medals. The main highlight of the team, however, was the emergence of star paddler Manika Batra who produced a magical show on the Gold Coast.

History in Jakarta: Fresh off the exploits at Gold Coast CWG, a few months later the Indian TT saw another brilliant chapter added to the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. This time, a team made up of Achanta Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan and Anthony Amalraj gave the country its first-ever TT medal at the second-largest sporting event in the world after the Olympics. Although the Indian team lost to South Korea with three men in the semi-finals, they won a bronze medal. Sharath later teamed up with Manika Batra when the duo added another bronze to the country’s medal tier with a mixed doubles semifinal. (ANI)

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