Advertisment

World No. 24 Sreeja Akula aims to cause some upset in Paris Olympics 2024

The 25-year-old player became India's top paddler with a career-best ranking of 24th earlier on Tuesday. Sreeja Akula played a key role in qualifying India for the team event at Paris 2024.

author-image
Payal Debnath
New Update
World No. 24 Sreeja Akula aims to cause some upset in Paris Olympics 2024

Sreeja Akula after winning the WTT Contender singles title. Image- The Hindu

Listen to this article
0.75x 1x 1.5x
00:00 / 00:00

Sreeja Akula, who became the first Indian table tennis player to win the WTT Contender singles title, is hoping to maintain the momentum and cause some upsets at the Paris Olympics 2024. Sreeja expressed these thoughts during an interview with Ultimate Table Tennis.

Also Read: Sreeja Akula becomes India's top-ranked paddler overtaking World No. 29 Manika Batra

Akula played a key role in qualifying for Paris

The 25-year-old player became India's top paddler with a career-best ranking of 24th earlier on Tuesday. Sreeja Akula played a key role in qualifying India for the team event at Paris 2024. She will compete in both the team and individual events and is certainly brimming with confidence as she has performed brilliantly this year. 

This is Sreeja's debut Olympics

Sreeja Akula told Ultimate Table Tennis, “It’s my debut Olympic Games but I think I am well prepared for the tournament. I just want to play my best in whichever event I am playing and just want to create the maximum number of upsets.” In 2022, Sreeja teamed up with Achanta Sharath Kamal to win her first Commonwealth Games mixed doubles gold in Birmingham.

Sreeja credited UTT experience for her overall development

Sreeja Akula started the year by winning the WTT Feeder Corpus Christi 2024 singles title in Texas in January and added another crown in Beirut two months later. She defeated rising Chinese player Ding Yijie in the singles final at the WTT Contenders in Lagos and then won the doubles crown with compatriot Archana Kamath. The former national champion also credited the UTT experience for her overall development. 

“UTT has been very helpful for every table tennis player. I think we are getting good exposure and it’s really helping us in international tournaments as well.” Sreeja did a fantastic job for Dabangg Delhi TTC last year.

'I have been working a lot on improving my mental strength'

Ahead of Paris, Sreeja has worked a lot on her overall fitness and mental conditioning as she wanted to give her best performance ahead of the Olympics. “For the last two years, I have been working a lot on improving my mental strength and I think that is the first aspect where I have improved, especially in 2024. I am mentally well prepared to play against any opponent, whoever it is,"

Also Read: Hockey India announces 16-member Indian men's hockey team for Paris Olympics 2024

"I have tried to be more consistent in attacking that ball and I can see these three aspects have brought a lot of change in my game,” Sreeja added.

Ultimate Table Tennis 2024 is the next destination

Indian men's and women's teams have achieved historic qualification in the team event at the Paris Olympics. Sreeja Akula is part of the women's team along with Manika Batra and Kamath while the men's team includes Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, and Manav Thakkar. After the Olympics, Indian paddlers will be seen in action against top international stars at the Ultimate Table Tennis 2024 to be held in Chennai from August 22 to September 7.

Table Tennis Paris Olympics 2024 Sreeja Akula