Who is Hansini Mathan - The 11-year-old Table Tennis prodigy dreaming of an Olympic medal ?

Mathan is training under Muralidhara Rao, the former coach of top Indian paddlers like Achanta Sharath Kamal and K Shamini.

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Hansini Mathan, an 11-year-old Indian table tennis prodigy is making a name for herself with her performances in the Indian junior circuit.

While already dubbed a prodigy, Hansini went on to genuinely ramp up the excitement around her by doing well in junior events at the international level as well.

As she continues to move up the ranks with her swift wrist movements and brilliant paddling technique, many have dubbed her as the future of Indian table tennis.

All of 11, Hansini is already targeting future Olympic success. So what do we know about the prodigy?

Early years

Mathan developed an early interest in table tennis. The Chennai-born paddler started to play the sport at the age of seven with her brother. 

“I have been practising table tennis for the past four years and it is through my elder brother I started to love to play table tennis,” Hanshini told News18.

Her family spotted her talent early and have been extremely supportive of her. 

Trained by ace Indian paddler Sharath Kamal's former coach 

Early lessons are without doubt the key for developing a strong foundation for any player. And Mathan has already started training under one of the premier coaches in the country. She is learning from none other than Muralidhara Rao, the former coach of top Indian paddlers like Achanta Sharath Kamal and K Shamini.

She initially underwent training at the SDAT AKG Table Tennis Development Centre in Chennai. 

Eventually, she grew up to change her training base to Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium where she practices for six hours daily.

Left a mark with her maiden performance

Mathan, a class V student then, was right on the money from the word go as she bagged a bronze medal in her maiden appearance at an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) junior event - Swedish Junior and Cadet Open at Sweden.

She lost to Luliia Pugovkina of Russia 12-10, 9-11, 5-11, 8-11 in the semi-finals to settle for the third spot on the podium in the mini cadet’s singles event.

The teen sensation began the tournament with a couple of wins in the Round of 16 before registering a stellar run in the quarter-final. She, however, failed to continue in the same momentum in the semi-final and lost to her Russian counterpart. 

Olympic dreams and national level dominance 

At 11,  Hansini has bagged 28 medals for Tamil Nadu at the national level. But that is not enough for her, as the driven paddler, has further set her sights on winning an Olympic medal. 

Earlier this year, she achieved another commendable feat by becoming the top-ranked player in U-12 category in India. 

The top brass of the sport in India have already earmarked her for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. 

“My dream is to win an Olympic medal for India,” claims Hansini.