The table tennis court at the Tokyo Olympics will be very competitive, but India hopes to take home the historic medal. The table tennis team will travel to Japan next week. Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan and Sutirtha Mukherjee quartet, along with coach Soumyadeep Roy, spoke only to NDTV before the Tokyo Games. “It’s the best team we’ve ever sent to the Olympics. We’re in a tough situation, but they’ve made sacrifices and decision, hard work and goals, preparing all the athletes in 3 or 4 years,” coach Soumyadeep Roy said.
The group traveling from India will have to complete a three-day isolation period before entering the Venues. Players have prepared for this unprecedented situation.
Sharath Kamal is a three-time Olympic veteran and will now play in his 4th Olympics. He says: “I think the Olympics will be very different, considering the scenario around the world, the restrictions and the rules. Before the competition and the competition, everything will go through our minds. The Olympics will be for everyone.”
Sharath and Manika are being advised to win the medal in the mixed doubles. Hopes have been high for the pair since they won the Asian Games Bronze Medal in 2018.
“We won bronze in the men’s and doubles, for the first time in 62 years in the Asian Games. That gave us the right motivation. I think the strength we both have is the ability to rise under pressure. Individual and doubles manga is unique, and I’m able to do it in no time,” he said. of Sharath Kamalek.
“The style of play is because we are tall and we have a little physicality and coordination in mobility. Our advantage is that the game is able to slow down to the lowest speed and from there I can increase my power since I play a power game. I hope we can get into that kind of rhythm with any opponent. We hope with a good draw at the Olympics, we will be able to realize our Dreams to get the gold medal, “he added.
“It will be a change, but we played together in the qualifiers, we defeated the Korean players and we played terribly. I personally feel the best when we give, I accept Sharath bhaiya, and I will try everything I can in Tokyo, and I’m happy for that,” Manika said waiting for the Indians with existing challenges.
However, the 26-year-old from Delhi is realistic.
“They all come in after a tough situation and are coming in after 100 percent. I’ve tried to adjust to Japanese time, wake up at 5:30 in the morning and train in the mornings. I won’t put pressure on myself, but I know I can be good players and surprise myself.” he said.
G Sathiyan will be competing in his first Olympics and he is also an amazing one. Sathiyan is often called Virat Kohli of table tennis, he is ready to make waves.
“It’s the first time the two Indians have started live on the 48th day, that’s very high and that’s an advantage,” he said.
“I’m also fit, having won higher level players and these types of wins before the Pandemic have given me a lot of confidence. It may be my first Olympics, but I’ve played a lot of international events and that has given me a show to take big guns. If we play good table tennis for 3 days “My goal is to get to the QF and from there to get into the main zone. For me it’s to win the main opponents, get out two big names, and from there the way opens up and you can enjoy playing,” Sathiyan said of his game plan.
The group also has a fourth member, Sutirtha Mukherjeen. Going to his first games, he becomes uninhibited and promises to make some appearances.
Along with playing in Leagues around the world and playing against some of the best players, Indian table tennis is at the top and the current harvest is on the rise, causing some unrest and getting to the Tokyo podium.
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