India’s Hansini Mathan Raj wins ITTF title beating youngest athlete at Tokyo Olympics

Hansini Mathan Raj of India defeated Hand Zaza of Syria, the youngest athlete at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, to win the girls singles event at the 2021 ITTF Hops and Challenge Table Tennis Tournament in Amman. Playing in the under-12 category, the ruling cadet national champion defeated Zaza 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 in the final on December 14. Parth Prabhakar was India’s entry in the boys singles competition. Iran’s Komil Niknejad Divashali won.

Hansini, who is staying in Amman for a camp organized by the Asian Table Tennis Union, said the final was the toughest match of his competition.

“I knew my opponent went to the Olympics earlier this year but I didn’t think about it while she was playing. There was no pressure and I just played my game, “said the 12-year-old, who considers her backhand the strongest aspect of her game.

During the tournament, he was accompanied by his mother and coach Mamta Prabhu, who is also a former India player.

Chennai-based Hansini also clinched her second ITTF World Youth Series title by winning the Under-13 Girls category in Muscat in October. She won her first Youth Series title in Tunisia in September.

She has been coached by Srinivasa Rao, father of the great Sharath Kamal of India, and Muralidhar Rao, uncle.

“Ever since she started playing sports at the age of seven, she has looked at Sharath Kamal,” said her mother Pratibha, referring to India’s best peddler.

After the camp in Amman, Hansini will return to India to play a national level event.

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