Harmeet Desai is an Indian Table Tennis player born on 19th July 1993. He hails from Surat in Gujarat. He represents India in Singles and Doubles categories.
Harmeet Desai was born to Rajul Desai and Archana Desai. He belongs to a Gujarati family residing in Surat.
Harmeet picked up an interest in Table Tennis at a very young age. At the age of 6, his father, Rajul, bought a table and he had begun playing with him and soon he was trained under Peter Karlsson, 5-time World Table Tennis Champion, as part of the Olympic Solidarity Programme. Under the mentorship of Peter, Harmeet began to foster his table tennis skills and pursue the sport seriously.
Harmeet’s table tennis talent was evident when he demonstrated his skills at the junior state-level competitions, thanks to guidance from Peter Karlsson. Later, he moved to Petroleum Table Tennis Academy in Ajmer, Rajasthan, and trained under Chinese table tennis coach Yin Wei.
Rise to Glory
Harmeet Desai showed off his table tennis at a young age. Under the tutelage of Peter Karlsson, Harmeet’s career began to take off. He won his first international medal at the World Junior Circuit Taiyuan Open by winning Bronze in the U-15 category in China.
In 2009, he won the Silver medal in the U-18 singles category at the Taiyuan International Junior and Cadet Open. In 2010, he won the Silver medal in Junior Singles at the South Asian Federation Games. That year, he won the Gold and Silver in Boys’ Team and Singles respectively at the South Asian Junior TT Championships in Dehradun.
In 2012, Harmeet won the Gold medal in Men’s Singles at the Fajr Cup in Tehran in Iran. In January 2014, he won the Gold and Bronze in Men’s Team and Men’s Singles events at the Lusofonia Games in Goa.
At the 2015 ITTF Challenge Australia Open, Harmeet won the Silver medal in Men’s Doubles. In 2017, he won the Bronze in Men’s Singles at the Zagreb Challenge in Croatia, followed up with a Silver medal in Men’s doubles at the Polish Open Challenge.
In 2019, Harmeet became the National Champion for the first time at the National Badminton Championships and became the first paddler from Gujarat to do so. That year, he won 3 Gold medals in Men’s Team, Doubles and Mixed Doubles, and a Silver in Singles at the South Asian Games in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Harmeet Desai’s career breakthrough came in 2011 when he won the Bronze medal in Junior Boys’ Team at the Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships. A year later, he created history by becoming the 2nd Indian paddler after Sharath Kamal to clinch the ITTF World Tour Brazil Open Title.
In 2013, he won the Silver medal in Men’s Team event at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in New Delhi. That year, In August, Harmeet won the Bronze medal at the Brazil Open Table Tennis Championship at Santos, Brazil.
In 2015, he was part of the Indian men’s team that won the Gold medal at the Asian Badminton Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, followed that by winning two Gold medals in Men’s Team and Men’s Doubles events at the Commonwealth Tennis Championships in Surat, Gujarat. The following year, Harmeet alongside his Indian men’s team won the Gold medal in the second division at the World Team Championships.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, he won the Gold medal and a Bronze in Men’s Team and Men’s Doubles events at Gold Coast in Australia, followed by the Bronze medal in Men’s Doubles at the Thailand Open in Bangkok. In August, Harmeet and the Indian men’s team won the Bronze Medal in Men’s Team event at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
In 2019, Harmeet won the Gold medal in Men’s Singles, along with another Gold and a Silver in Men’s Team and Mixed Doubles events respectively at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships at Yogyakarta in Indonesia.
Harmeet is eyeing to book the Olympics berth at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.