2021 has been a brilliant year for the Indian table tennis fraternity. From striking over their weight at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to winning medal after medal in the WTT series and the Asian Championships, the Indian table tennis stars have been on a launch this year.
There have been multiple controversies too. Most notable being the nation’s top-ranked paddler, Manika Batra, accusing the national team coach of asking her to pitch a game in the Olympic qualifiers earlier this year.
But none of that will really matter when they head to the arena at the George R. Brown Convention Center for the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Huston, three days from now.
With a total of 9 paddlers nominated to compete at the 2021 World Championships and their recent form, fans would certainly expect at least one podium from the Indians at Huston.
While not easy, with all the best players in the world expected over the six-day event, even a single medal could be historic for India.
The last time India won a medal at the World Table Tennis Championships was in 1926. It was the inaugural edition of this prestigious event.
India finished the tournament with two bronze medals against its name. One by SRG Suppiah in men’s singles, the other by the men’s team consisting of Suppiah, Athar-Ali Fyzee, Hassan Ali Fyzee, AM Peermahomed and BC Singh.
Cut to 95 years later in 2021, India has yet to replicate this success and it will surely fall on veterans Sharath Kamal Achanta, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Manika Batra to find the means if the country wants to end this world Drought of medals at championships.