Boosted by the Indian women’s team’s gold medal-winning display in the Commonwealth Games, paddler Madhurika Patkar is optimistic of a top-four finish in the upcoming Asian Games.
“Till now we have reached upto the quarter finals (in the Asian Games). If we could make it in the top four, it will be great. Why not, the team is in good form, they are confident. I feel we should capitalise on this,” Madhurika told agencies today.
Madhurika was part of the women’s team that created history in the Gold Coast CWG.
The Asian Games are scheduled to be held in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2 in Jakarta and Palembang.
“(In table tennis) Asian Games is equivalent to World Championship or Olympic Games. Because in Asian Games countries – China, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Singapore – come and these are the top countries in the world. It will be a very good tournament and the level of competition will be highest.
“It will be difficult but it is not impossible because we have created history in Commonwealth Games by beating 2010 World Champions Singapore and we could do this one more time. If we take this confidence and play there, then anything is possible,” said 31-year-old former national singles champion who hails from neighbouring Thane district.
According to the paddler, there will be no pressure of CWG medal while going into the Asian Games.
Currently playing in the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) for the Maharashtra United, Madhurika says she has learnt about physical fitness from foreign players participating in the tournament.
“The UTT experience is good and there is much to learn. Basically, there are top players of the world (in the league). I know that physical fitness is important for the game but when the matches are going on how they maintain physical fitness – that is an important thing which I learnt here.
“What happens to me is that when I am home or at the camp, my physical fitness is good. My game relies a lot on physical fitness, but when I go for matches, there is no physical training. But I am seeing that they (foreign players), allot some time for physical fitness and that is a big thing I learnt from them. Our game (depends) on physical and mental fitness,” she explained.