BANGALORE: Rising table tennis star Koumudi Patankar of St Joseph's High School has been selected to represent Karnataka in the under-17 girls category at the national tournament to be held in Tadeepalligudem, West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
Coached by Vipul Chougule of the Chougule Table Tennis Academy in Tilakwadi Club, Belgaum, Koumudi has also got all the support and motivation from Tankam Michale, principal, St Joseph's High School and Leena D'Souza, her PE teacher.
Koumudi has been performing extremely well in various tournaments in the state over the past couple of years. She is very focused on her game and is always a picture of concentration no matter what the game situation. Whether she leads or trails, her approach has been the same. She has done well in tournaments of higher age groups as well.
Koumudi has a strong forehand and backhand and her top spin serves are often missed. She also has the ability to produce eye-catching smashes from distances far from the table. Her athleticism has surprised many an opponent.
The upcoming paddler from Belgaum won the under-18 title in the North Karnataka Open Tournament held at Hubli in September last year and that has inspired her to improve her game on many fronts.
In the final, Koumudi overcame the challenge of Gayatri Tanksali from Hubli 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 12-10. Earlier in the semis, Koumudi defeated Akshata of Belgaum.
Koumudi entered the women's semi-finals, losing to eventual winner Gayatri Tanksali at the end of a fiercely contested match.
Just a month earlier, Koumudi, who represents Union Gymkhana, won a tournament conducted by her club where more than 30 talented players from Belgaum, Hubli and Nippani participated. Koumudi eventually defeated Abhijit Saralaya in the final. She put it across Akshata Malshet and Gayatri Tanksali and entered the final where she had the measure of Abhijit Saralaya of Hubli 3-0 to win the title with an unbeaten run.
Her exploits last year have surely borne fruit and now the Belgaum girl has the distinction of representing the state. Koumudi is sure to come out with flying colours and more will be heard of her in the days to come in the ping pong game.