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September 13, 2000
Baboor, Raman ready for TT challenge
Former national table tennis champion Chetan Baboor, who will be playing in his third successive Olympics, on Wednesday exuded confidence that he will do better this time around.
"I think I am better prepared for this Olympics,'' Chetan said.
''I have a good chance. Though it is my third Olympics, the aura surrounding the game is awesome,'' he added.
Chetan made it to the Sydney Olympics after qualifying from the Asian championship in Hong Kong early this year.
''I finished eighth and there were nine slots for the Olympics, so I am here,'' he said.
His doubles partner is national champion Raman Subramanian, who will be participating in his first Olympics.
''Yes, I was overwhelmed by the thought of playing in the Olympics, but I am overcoming it; I am getting used to it. We came here in the first week of this month and the feeling (of taking part in the games) is sinking in,'' Raman said.
Raman and Chetan had finished ninth as a doubles pair in the Asian qualifier, which earned Raman a ticket to Sydney.
''We are ranked 20th in the world as a doubles pair,'' Raman informed, adding they have been playing against top class pairs in practice matches.
Paulomi Dutta, is the lone woman table tennis player from India at the Olympics. She said playing in Olympics is itself a great experience. "I will learn and emerge a better player."
Chetan said much will depend on the draw. "Victory in the first round always gives you the much-needed confidence.''
Raman echoed his partner's feeling and said he is hoping that as a doubles pair they will put up a good show. "The field here is world class; all the star players are here including those from China, Korea and Sweden.
"Victory here is not easy, but we are determined to give a good show,'' they said.
Chetan said he is playing well and hoped that his form will improve as the competition begins.
Raman is taking part only in doubles while Chetan figures in the singles also.
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