Table Tennis in India is growing by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. Few years ago, an Indian being in the top 100 of the world was a unique sight, with Achanta Sharath Kamal being the only torchbearer of Indian Table Tennis. His 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games gold medal was a defining moment in Indian TT.
Jump to March 2018 and the picture is totally different. The women’s players are performing exceptionally with 2 Indian women in the top 100. We have 6 Indian men’s players in the top 100 in the world, with G Sathiyan being in the top 50, ranked at 49.
We are making waves in the junior circuit as well, most notably the historic achievement of Manav Thakkar, who gained the numero uno; number 1 ranking in the U – 18 category, this becoming the first Indian to ever top the world rankings At the global level, India is considered as a serious competitor, rather than just pushovers. The future certainly looks great for the Indian Table Tennis scenario!
This development can be attributed to various aspects. Indian players are training abroad as well as playing in foreign leagues. This exposure is not only helping them in developing their game, but as the constantly compete against the top players around the world, the self confidence is also high. The Ultimate Table Tennis has been a big asset where even the Indian junior players have the opportunity of sharing space with the top international players. Interacting with them, and training with them certainly does our players, especially the youngsters a world of good. Last, but most important is the hard work and effort put in by all our players. All those hours put in during training, on the fitness ground, are starting to show results and the only way to go is forward.
This year has a lot to look forward to for table tennis enthusiasts and all the followers of Indian TT. There is the World Team Table Tennis Championships where the Indian men’s and women’s teams will be playing in the elite division for the first time ever! To add to that, we have the Commonwealth Games as well as the Asian Games which are events of huge prestige. And looking at the current form of our players, we won’t be surprised if they return with a big kitty of medals from not just these events, but most of the events that they will play throughout the year!