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Posted at: Jun 1, 2016, 2:00 AM; last updated: Jun 1, 2016, 2:00 AM (IST)

Game starts at love-all for Mouma

Game starts at love-all for Mouma
Mouma Das. File photo

Sunny Kaul

Chandigarh, May 31

She was just 20 when she competed in her first Olympics in 2004 at Athens. She was overawed by the atmosphere. Twelve years down the line, Mouma Das has matured as a player and is hopeful of putting up a fine show at the Rio Olympics. In an exclusive interview with The Tribune, the paddler talks about her preparations and India’s chances at Rio. 

Excerpts:

How is your preparation going on?

It’s going good. I train for seven to eight hours in a day. There are three-four coaches — Abhijit Roy Chowdhary, Debabrata Chakraborty and Jayanta Pushilal — with whom I working. I also get tips from German coach Peter Angel; besides, Bhawani Mukherjee is also there. 

On which aspects of the game are you working on?

I am working on my footwork, my strokes and fitness.  

You last participated in the Athens Olympics. You were just 20 then. Do you think age can affect your performance? 

I was a young player then. It was a big hall, I was overawed by the atmosphere around me. There were some big names playing around. It was so exciting to see Wang Nan (from China) play. She is my favourite player.  I remember I lost my first match to a high-ranking Thai player, and the next day we went to see Aparna Popat play. I’ve matured a lot as a player now, and the experience gained over the years will help at Rio.

How confident are you about performing against some of the best in the business?    

The game starts at love-all. Right now, I am just concentrating on improving myself. 

It is the first time four table tennis players from India have made it to the Olympics. You and Sharath are the most experienced ones, what are your chances? 

(Soumayjit) Ghosh is more experienced than me if we talk about playing in foreign conditions. He has been training in Sweden for some time now…Manika is an upcoming player and she is very good. I will be always there if she needs any help. So, I think we will put up a good show. 

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