After winning UTT title with Goa Challengers, Table tennis player insists qualifying for the quadrennial event is her ultimate goal
Goa Challengers’ Reeth Rishya with the UTT winners trophy. PIC/Ultimate Table Tennis Twitter
INDIAN table tennis player Reeth Rishya Tennison, who recently helped Goa Challengers win the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) event in Pune, insists her ultimate goal is qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Reeth, 27, was part of the winning the team which defeated Chennai Lions 8-7 in the final. Reeth played the last match of the final against fellow Indian Sutirtha Mukherjee and sealed victory for Goa with a scoreline of 7-11, 10-11, 11-6.
Speaking about the future after winning the tournament, Reeth said she has her mind set on making the Paris Olympics next year. “The ultimate goal for me is the Paris Olympics. I am working for it. There are many international WTT tournaments that will happen now. The next one I am preparing for is Bangkok, to be held in the first week of September. I am focused. I know the mistakes I made in the UTT, so I will work on them,” Reeth told mid-day.com.
However, Reeth, who represented India at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, also felt that it’s not going to be easy to qualify for the Olympics. “The road is going to be quite difficult. I need to put more effort than other players because I have a different game as compared to them. Everybody has simple rubber or something on one side of the racquet. I have ‘playing rubber’ [type of material] on both sides of the racquet.
“Every match in any tournament is very important for me because I have to gain more points as it makes it a little easier for me to compete at the pre-Olympics as well as the domestic tournaments, which also play an important role in the qualification. There's just a year left, which is very less, but I’ll keep working, so let's see how it goes,” Reeth said.
The Chennai-based paddler explained how the UTT has helped her improve her game by citing a recent example. “In the finals where I played Sutirtha in the last tie, our team were 7-5 up and I just needed one set. In the second set I was 10-7 up. I had to take only one point, but I lost the set because I missed a high ball. I learned a lot from it, that I should not be relaxing at any moment. The rhythm should always continue. Luckily, my rhythm didn’t break, so I managed to win the third set and the tournament for the team,” Reeth signed off.