From the iconic Sathiyan Gnanasekaran’s decorated career, to the Young Manav Thakkar gold medal achievement in the 2019 ITTF Challenge, several table tennis players have represented and made India proud at the world stage. Now, the role is upon a 10 year old kid. Say hello to M Hansini, the Indian table tennis prodigy who is set to represent her country in Sweden.
M Hansini, the 10 year old paddler from the city of Chennai will be appearing for her maiden International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) junior circuit event. She is participating at the Swedish Junior and Cadet Open, which is being hosted at Orebro, Sweden from 19th to 23rd February.
A student of Class V, Hansini made the headlines last year at the UTT 81st Senior National & Inter-State Table Tennis Championships-2019, hosted in Hyderabad. The youngster secured a bronze medal in the cadet girls’ singles category.
At the junior circuit event, she is competing in the junior girls’ singles category. Placed in group 8, Hansini will be competing alongside other young table tennis prodigies around the globe, namely the teenage sensation Naomi Pranjkovic from Germany, Amy Marriott from England and Hannah Holgersson from the host country.
Seeded as India’s no. 1 in the U-12 category for the upcoming year, Hansini was scouted by none other than Muralidhara Rao. In a recent interview, Rao revealed that Hansini’s talent was discovered at the SDAT AKG Table Tennis Development Centre in Chennai.
“One day Hansini came to watch her cousin play in the academy. I gave her bat asking her to play and the way she was returning the ball impressed me.” Rao told reporters.
Having trained big table tennis names such as Sharath Kamal Achanta and K Shamini, Rao was quick to detect Hansini’s skills. He continued: “As table tennis expert coach, I felt that this girl has potential to make it big so I asked her mother to put her in the academy. Soon she proved it by becoming U-10 champion within one year and then clinched U-12 title too.”
Rao also added that Hansini is being prepared for the 2028 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Los Angeles, California, United States.
“We are targeting 2028 Olympics and we look at Hansini as one of the strong medal prospects,” the coach concluded.