by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Press Officer
The 25 year old, currently listed at no.49 on the Men’s World Ranking will be making his debut at the Commonwealth Games and he is ready for the challenge.
“This will be my first Commonwealth Games and I am really happy to be part of the Indian contingent for the 2018 edition in Gold Coast, Australia. It has always been my dream to take part in a big multi-sporting event.
I have to give my best in Australia and hope to win as many medals as possible. I have set a high target of winning three gold medals, singles, doubles and team.
We are all prepared and I think we have had the best preparation so far for any Games. I have played around 13 international tournaments last year and had good exposure. Also I have had experience of playing in a league abroad. The Indian team will train in Porto, Portugal as well as playing in three ITTF tournaments before the Commonwealth Games.
There are lot of good players coming to the Games: this includes players like Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford, Canada’s Eugene Wang as well as Singapore’s Gao Ning. They will certainly be tough competitors.
Definitely Aruna is one of the biggest threats for the Indian team in Gold Coast. He is a great player and has been playing very well in the last few years. I think we are well prepared and working out strategies to face the strong Nigerian team in Australia.
India has a very good chance of winning a gold medal as we have a strong and balanced team this year. I am really excited about the Games and hope to make it the best tournament of my life. I hope it will bring out the best of me during the Games.
I am looking forward eagerly to winning a gold medal and waiting to hear the Indian national anthem to be played at the Games.”