TT can get us Olympics medal: Monalisa

Online Staff/GUWAHATI, May 11: Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju sees possibility of medals from Indian paddlers in 2028 Olympics. Arjuna Awardee TT player Monalisa Barua Mehta too expresses similar hope in a conversation with Krirangan. Here is the excerpt
Q: Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju recently said that Table Tennis is one of the games which can give medal to India in 2028 Olympics. Your reaction!
Monalisa: It’s nice to see that the nation has got Kiren Rijiju as the Union Sports Minister. He is very enthusiast towards sports and sincerely working to bring a major change in the overall scenario of sports in our country. Coming back to your question I want to say that Table Tennis is now a sport in India which has very bright future. We have quality players in both senior and junior categories and have good coaches too.
Q: You are associated with the game for a long period. Do you belief it is possible to get medal in 2028 Olympics?
Monalisa: Why not? Now there is no dearth of good players. At present we have several players who are ranked below 50 in the international ranking. Our players started to beat top ranked players in the international competitions. Even in the junior category we have several players who are highly talented. It’s a good sign. It will strengthen our back up line. So I am very much optimistic about medals from Olympics in 2028.
Q: What should be the roadmap for 2028 Olympics?
Monalisa: Next four years would be very crucial for us. We need to give proper attention on player’s coaching, their fitness, nutrition, monitoring of performance of players etc at the time of chalk out our plan. If it happens in proper way medal from Olympics would be just a matter of time. Belief me, we are really doing well in international circuits and need just a big-break that we had seen in badminton. The day it happens we will start to dominate in the international circuit.
Q: Lockdown has forced the players to stay away from proper training for a long period. Can it bring a negative impact on the players?
Monalisa: I don’t feel so. Current players are very conscious on their fitness and they are in constant touch with the experts. I got several calls from the players including Monika Batra and all of them want to know how they can keep in touch with the games during the lockdown. I feel the players would return into the stadium with a lot of energy once the lockdown is over and daily activities begin.