Our country’s sportsmen are built different. Creating history, both the Indian Men’s and Women’s Table Tennis teams qualified for the Olympics for the first time ever! Seven spots remained in the team events after the conclusion of the World Team Championships Finals in Busan last month, which served as the last qualifying event for the Paris Olympics 2024.

The Indian teams failed to directly qualify for the Paris Games in that event as they did not meet the requisite of playing the quarterfinals and were knocked out in the pre-quarters. However, they did enough to qualify through world rankings. The top 16 teams secured the Olympics spot and as per the ITTF rankings, the men’s team was ranked 15th, while the women’s side was at 13th. 

The highest-ranked teams not yet qualified in the latest World Team Ranking booked their ticket to Paris 2024,” International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) said. Apart from us, Poland (12), Sweden (15), and Thailand have secured their passage to Paris. Croatia (12), India (15), and Slovenia (11) have secured their spots in the men’s team event.

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Getting There

This marks a significant milestone for Indian table tennis history, as it will be the first time the nation competes in the team event at the Olympics since its inception at the Beijing 2008 Games.

Both the Indian teams had missed Olympic berths at the ITTF World Team Championships Finals after making pre-quarterfinals exits. The men’s table tennis team, led by veteran Sharath were blanked 0-3 by South Korea, while the Manika Batra-led women’s team lost 1-3 to Chinese Taipei.

Finally!!!! India qualifies for the team event at the Olympics! Something I have wanted for a long long time! This one is truly special, despite it being my fifth appearance at the Olympics! Kudos to our Women’s Team who also secure a historical quota!” veteran Sharath Kamal tweeted.

What The Bigwigs Had To Say

It is a very big achievement. It’s been a long process. A big thanks to the Executive Committee of Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), coaches, and players who have made it happen,” Kamlesh Mehta, TTFI Secretary said after the teams secured their places at the Games.

Men’s table tennis star G. Sathiyan, who was also part of the team at the event also called it a historic achievement. “It’s a double bonanza that women have made the cut. Our first goal was to qualify and we have been working for a long time to improve our world rankings,” he said.

Veteran TT star Sharath Kamal, who will be making his fifth and final appearance at the quadrennial event, credited the team for the achievement and looks forward to doing well in Paris. “It is going to be my last Olympics. We did well by maintaining the 15th spot in the rankings.” he said.

Denmark, by virtue of reaching the quarterfinals, jumped from 24th spot to 10th. They made our job tough, but we held on. If we can win one big match in team events (men & women) at Paris, we can make the quarters, which will be huge,” added Kamal. 

table tennis Indian men's and women's teams qualify paris olympics 2024 International Table Tennis Federation ITTF

Harmeeet Desai said that he hopes to be part of the team. He helped India reach into the pre-quarters by winning the final rubber of the clash against Kazakhstan. “If all goes well, it will be my first Olympics. I hope TTFI comes up with the final list of who will make up the team, and who plays doubles (Olympics consists of one doubles and four singles) by May so that we get enough time to prepare,” he said.

We couldn’t be more proud of both our teams to achieve a feat like this. Let’s bring home the gold, boys and girls!!