It has been a memorable year for Class V student who bagged a bronze medal in cadet girls' singles at the 2019 UTT 81st National Table Tennis Championships and will start the upcoming season as India No.1 in the U-12 category.
It was coach Muralidhara Rao, who has experience of coaching top paddlers in the country such as Sharath Kamal and K Shamini, spotted the talent in Hansini at 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. As a table tennis expert coach, I felt that this girl has the 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. We are targeting 2028 Olympics and we look at Hansini as one of the strong medal prospects," Muralidhara said.
The SDAT AKG is one of five table tennis academies in India which are being supported by the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT). With the help of UTT, the academies are getting specialised physios, mental conditioning coaches, nutritionists which are helping paddlers perform better at the national and international level right from a young age.
"After UTT support the kids are progressing well at a higher level. Last year five of them played at the national level," Muralidhara added.
Hansini has been placed in the Group 8 in junior girls' singles alongside Germany's Naomi Pranjkovic, Sweden's Hannah Holgersson and England's Amy Marriott.
Source: Media Release