95 years after their first medal, can Indian paddlers finally earn a World Championships podium?
The last time India won a medal in the Table Tennis World Championships was way back in the year 1926.
The year 2021 has been a brilliant one for the Indian table tennis fraternity. Right from punching above their weight in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to clinching one medal after the other in the WTT series and Asian Championships, the Indian table tennis stars have been on a roll this year.
There have been multiple controversies too. The most notable being the country's highest-ranked woman paddler, Manika Batra, accusing the national team coach of asking her to throw a match during the Olympic qualifiers earlier this year.
But, none of it will really matter when they take to the playing arena at the George R. Brown Convention Centre for the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Huston, three days from now.
With a total of 9 paddlers having been named to compete in the 2021 World Championships and their recent run of form, fans would certainly be expecting at least one podium finish from the Indians in Huston.
While it is not going to be easy, with all of the world's top players expected to be in action during the course of the six-day event, even a single medal finish could be historic for India.
The last time India won a medal in the Table Tennis World Championships was way back in the year 1926. It was the inaugural edition of the prestigious event.
India ended the tournament with two bronze medals against its name. One by SRG Suppiah in the men's singles, the other by the men's team comprising of Suppiah, Athar-Ali Fyzee, Hassan Ali Fyzee, AM Peermahomed and BC Singh.
Cut to 95 years later in 2021, India has is yet to replicate this success and the onus will surely be on the likes of veteran Sharath Kamal Achanta, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Manika Batra to come up with the goods if the country is to end this World Championships medal drought.