Reigning National Table Tenis Champion Harmeet Desai feels that lack of tournament due to COVID-19 has diminished his chances to qualify for the upcoming mega event which will take place in Tokyo 2021. He said these words while taking to paddler Mudit Rani on the latter online live show titled as “The spotlight”.
“We have a strong team, so it will be very difficult for me to get ahead of the top two. Sharath and Sathiyan are really strong players. It would have been much better for me if I could have got a chance to play more international tournaments in this period because I didn’t have pressure of defending any points, I only had chance to gain points after my performance at the Oman Open. It’s sad that the chance is gone and I am in all likelihood missing this bus this time” said Desai.
India paddler @HarmeetDesai talks about playing TT amidst strict COVID-19 regulations in Europe… and also shares the recipe of his mum's inmunity-boosting laddoos that he MUST EAT DAILY!!! @mid_day pic.twitter.com/kxRJULFFCL
— Ferrocious!!! (@ashwinferro) October 30, 2020
As per the existing qualification norms, only two Indian male paddlers can qualify for Olympics 2021 in singles category and keeping this in mind two seasoned paddlers Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan are the two strong contenders to make their place in singles category.
The 27-year-old from Surat was in sublime form when he last played in Oman Open before COVID-19 outbreak is adamant that in case he will not make into Tokyo Olympics 2021 he will certainly make his Olympic debut in 2024. Desai has won gold medal in men’s team event with Sharath Kamal, Anthony Amalraj, G Sathiyan and Sanil Shetty. His biggest achievement came individually in 2019 Common Wealth Games where he won Gold Medal at Cuttack. For his contribution in the field of Table Tennis, he was awarded with Arjuna Award in 2019.