Young table tennis player Ayhika Mukherjee is looking ahead to the new season with a lot of promise and focus. The Bengal-based table tennis player shot to fame in 2019. She became the first Indian table tennis player to win a gold medal in the women's singles at the Commonwealth Championships.
The win was a result of hard work, grit and perseverance. Ayhika Mukherjee knows how to put in the hard yards and has made most of the opportunities count. However, on the international stage, Ayhika is yet to break into the top-100. This is something that the young paddler has set her sights on in a packed season.
Ayhika is excited to be playing in an all-important year. It includes the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, apart from a host of other important tournaments.
"I’m excited for the season because of the big games and tournaments that beckon. It is important that I play pro tours to gain good points for a better world ranking," she told Sportskeeda.
Ayhika Mukherjee targets to break into top-100
Ayhika knows a better world ranking will help her cement her place in the Indian team. It will also give her a shot at making the cut for many other tournaments.
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She is working towards playing as many tournaments as possible and improving her world ranking. The Bengal-based paddler said her short-term goal is to now break into the top-100 in the world.
"My short-term goal and my priority now is to be in the top-100 in the world. I am ranked 128 now. My long-term goal for this year is to be a part of the Indian team and win a medal in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. I am also looking at making the cut for the Paris Olympics and I am working hard towards it - in terms of both fitness and game," she explained.
Being friends with India's best female paddler, Manika Batra, has helped Ayhika Mukherjee to an extent. The two table tennis players talk a lot about the game and Manika has also helped Ayhika with a tip or two.
"Whenever we speak, we often talk about our games. She helps me with some techniques, especially backhand ones," she revealed.
A change in her training center has put Ayhika Mukherjee in good stead. The Bengal paddler is now training under Subhajit Saha, a former international table tennis player, and with renewed vigor is hoping to have a good season ahead.
"I start my day with a gym session at 7 am. I commence my table tennis training at around 10am and continue untill 4pm. Although it takes almost two hours to get to the academy and return, I am confident of my preparations," she concluded.