In last couple of years Indian table tennis team has improved a lot. Thanks to ex-coach Massimo Constantine training and planning and Raman Subramaniam’s high performance centre. Indian team has won Gold at CWG 2018 followed by bronze medal at 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta for first time in history. Tokyo Olympic is the next big thing that our team is targeting.
At the start of this year India was ranked 13th in world. Because of some consistent performance from our paddlers, team is currently ranked 8th in world. Indian team reached quarterfinal of ITTF Asian table tennis (Championship division) in September, lost to Japan in quarterfinals.
Currently we have quality paddlers, G. Sathiyan is the highest ranked player, ranked 30th in world, followed by Sharath Kamal on 36th, while Harmeet Desai recently broke into top 100. Sathiyan qualified for the world cup by finishing sixth in Asian cup held in Yokohama, Japan. He had prepared for world cup with Chinese sparring partner, Shen Yaohuan, to focus on individual training. He reached the knockout stage in World cup but lost to Timo Ball in pre-quarters.
Now Indian team has a golden opportunity to play at Olympic in team event for the first time. India is one of the favorite to grab one of 9 quotas available at World Qualification Event in Portugal, to be held from 22-26 January 2020. Indian team will be seeded 5th as top teams China Japan and Germany have already qualified.
The world no 30, Sathiyan Gananasekaran will be training with the Olympic medal winning Korean national team from December 22 to 30. After that Indian team will be training in Dusseldorf, Germany. After Germany Indian team will go to Portugal for World qualifiers.
Indian team has performed brilliantly throughout 2019, that too without a foreign coach. But team will look to continue the momentum in 2020 with hopes of “Ticket to Tokyo”.