Indian paddler Reeth Rishya, who is a part of the Indian women's table tennis team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, is making sure to leave no stone unturned in her preparations.
The Indian women's team comprises of Manika Batra, Reeth Rishya, Archana Kamath and Sreeja Akula. The team was announced by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) who are managing the affairs of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).
Having deviated from the process to include one player who is outside the top four, the CoA is awaiting a nod from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to finalize the squad.
In a chat with Sportskeeda, Reeth Rishya stated that she is looking forward to playing at CWG after an intense training camp in Bengaluru. She said:
"We had a national camp in Bengaluru until the end of last week. We had intense sessions playing doubles, mixed doubles and all. My long-term goal is to qualify for the Olympics. The Commonwealth Games is now part of the journey."
Reeth was quick to add that the focus is now on a couple of World Table Tennis (WTT) tournaments in Zagreb and Ototec. She added:
"I am now off to Croatia and Slovakia for two back-to-back tournaments. The focus as of now is on these two tournaments."
Reeth Rishya benefits from expert advice at home
Reeth Rishya and her husband Sanil Shetty are a power couple. The husband-wife duo will be a part of the Commonwealth Games, a first for India. With the experienced Sanil by her side, Reeth Rishya is focused on bettering her skills and taking expert advice from her husband when needed. She explained:
"Having Sanil in the Commonwealth Games squad is definitely a huge boost for me. He has played in two Commonwealth Games so far and his experience of playing in such an important tournament will immensely help me. I would love to learn the nuances of how to control my game and how to go about my game on such a huge stage."
The Indian women's table tennis team made waves at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in 2018, winning the gold after beating Singapore in the summit clash. The women's team of Manika Batra, Mouma Das and Madhurika Patkar (along with Sutirtha Mukherjee and Pooja Sahasrabudhe) scripted history in 2018.
With the benchmark set high, the Indian team is staring at a high-pressure situation. However, Reeth Rishya was quick to explain that the strategies have been drawn and the key for the paddlers is to take it match by match. She explained:
"The women's team is a relatively new team. Except for Manika, all three of us will be playing in the Commonwealth Games for the first time. The good thing is we all know each other's game inside out and we plan to take it match by match. We have played enough tournaments together and I am confident of our pairings."
"My strong points in the game are my attack, my backhand and my service. I am focusing more on my fitness and agility to get better on my feet and I know I will get better by playing a lot."