The Olympics 2021 is off to a great start in Tokyo, with Indian archers kickstarting the country's campaign today (July 23). There will be many more sporting events that India will be competing in starting July 24. Table tennis is one such sport which fans will look to keep an eye on. India has four paddlers competing for a place on the Olympic podium.
The Indians had a dismal campaign last time out in Rio. They will be hoping to keep that disappointment aside and put on a great show in Tokyo. Here are the Indian paddlers that will represent India at Olympics 2021.
Indian paddlers competing at Olympics 2021
Sharath Kamal has been the poster boy for Indian table tennis over the years. The 39-year-old has had a stunning career so far and will be heading into his fourth Olympic campaign. Having won many accolades in table tennis, including the four gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Kamal will be hoping to add Olympic glory to his name at the Olympics 2021.
The table tennis draws for the Olympics will see Kamal face some good competition in the early stages. After a bye in the first round of the singles event, he will be up against Tiago Apolonio in the second round.
In the mixed doubles event, Kamal and Manika Batra will face the pair of YJ Lin and IC Cheng in the Round of 16 .The duo from Chinese Taipei are ranked 3rd in the world. Kamal and Batra will have to put on a great show if they are to have any chance at overcoming their Asian counterparts.
#2 Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will be making his debut at the Olympics. The Chennai resident has previously broken into the ITTF Top 25 rankings and has been splendid in recent years. He has also won a gold at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the Asian Games in addition to performing well in several other ITTF tournaments.
Sathiyan will only be competing in the men's singles event. After a bye in the first round, he will be facing either Brian Afanador [Puerto Rico] or Lam Siu Hang [Hong Kong] in Round 2 of the event.
#3 Manika Batra
Manika Batra rose to fame after capturing gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The Khel Ratna recipient is expected to have a great Olympic campaign. Her unique style of play will definitely be a bonus when she takes the court.
Batra will compete in the mixed doubles and women's singles event at the Olympics 2021. After facing the Lin-Cheng duo from Chinese Taipei in the mixed doubles event alongside Kamal, she will be up against Tin-Tin Ho of Great Britain in the women's singles event.
#4 Sutirtha Mukherjee
Sutirtha Mukherjee will be making her debut at the Olympics 2021. She was part of the team that won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. The Bengal resident has pulled off some big upsets in her table tennis career so far.
Sutirtha has previously defeated higher-ranked players Petrissa Solja and Cheng I-ching in the Ultimate Table Tennis competition. She qualified for the Olympics after defeating compatriot and ace paddler Manika Batra in the Asia Olympic qualifiers.
Sutirtha will be up against Linda Bergstrom of Sweden in the first round of the women's singles event.
Also Read: Tokyo Olympics 2021 Schedule