Hansini Mathan Rajan of India defeats the youngest athlete in the Tokyo Olympics to win the ITTF title
In the final, the incumbent cadet national champion defeated Zaza 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 in the U-12 category
Hansini Mathan Rajan of India won the girls singles event in the 2021 ITTF Hopes and Challenge table tennis tournament in Amman, defeating Syria's Hend Zaza, the youngest participant at this year's Tokyo Olympics.
In the final on December 14, the incumbent cadet national champion defeated Zaza 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 in the U-12 category.
India's participation in the boys singles event, which was won by Iran's Komeil Niknejad Divshali, was Parth Prabhakar.
Hansini, who is staying in Amman for the Asian Table Tennis Union's training, said the final was her toughest match of the tournament.
"I knew my opponent had gone to the Olympics earlier this year but I didn't think about that while playing her. There was no pressure and I just played my game," said the 12-year-old who considers her backhand the strongest aspect of her game.
She was joined by her mother and coach, Mamta Prabhu, who is also a former India player, during the competition.
Hansini, who is from Chennai, won her second ITTF World Youth Series title in the U-13 girls category in Muscat in October. In September, she won her first Youth Series title in Tunisia. Sharath Kamal's father Shriniwas Rao and uncle Muralidhar Rao, both from India, are her coaches.
"Ever since she started playing the game as a seven-year-old, she has looked up to Sharath Kamal," said her mother Pratibha referring to India's finest ever paddler.
Hansini will return to India after the Amman camp to compete in national events.
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