Blog By : Riya Rathore

Mouma Das is born  on 24 February 1984 is a table-tennis player from West Bengal India She was born and brought up in Kolkata Mouma Das will compete in the women’s singles and doubles event for India at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Mouma Das has represented India at the World Table Tennis Championships a record 13 times. Mouma Das is training under Shri Jayanta kumar Pushilal. A senior level table tennis player, she had made a mark for herself in the junior levels too. One of the greatest achievements of Mouma was the bronze medal she bagged in the 2001 Commonwealth Games, held in New Delhi. Mouma Das plays on a regular basis at Narkeldanga Sadhanan Samiti. Mouma Das took part in the Women’s Doubles National Championship two times and also participated in the National Senior Championship of 1999. She also participated in the Senior Asian Championship. Mouma Das became National champion three times in sub-junior level, National champion in 2001 and National champion in Cadet.

Mouma Das was also the runner-up in junior championship for three times. Arjuna award winner holds the record for the most Commonwealth medals by an Indian paddler (17) and has taken part in the World Championships a record 15 times. She has credited her coaches for her initial success. 32-year- old player advises upcoming players is to go abroad and train although she has not participated in any European league even after getting an offer to play in Spain Mouma will represent India at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Table Tennis women’s singles and doubles.Women’s singles and doubles table tennis is scheduled to take place on August 6 to August 17. A recent drop in form saw her being ousted by several younger competitors. However, a resurgence of sorts has happened over the past few years. From 1999 to 2006, Das was clearly topping the charts, but recently she had a massive dip in form.She said, “Post-2006, I was struggling to go beyond the semi-finals stage. But, Coach Petr Engel has helped me a lot. He helped me learn how to surprise the opponent, which has seen my performances get better.”Despite some hiccups at the International events, Das is optimistic for the sport in the country. She said, “At this point, International events are to learn from our mistakes, so that we can climb the Asian ladder. That can only be done if we play full time, so that we can progress to the knockout stages.”Women’s table tennis players in India have never been able to pursue the game full time. Das herself is an employee of ONGC and has to work daily shifts to support  the monetary side of things.She said, “How do you expect us to win medals, when we have to work part-time? If you have a look at the Chinese players, they play full time.  We are far behind, but we are growing everyday.”

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