Ayhika Mukherjee is an Indian table tennis player. She represented the Indian team for the 2018 and 2022 Asian Games. In the 2023 Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China, Ayhika Mukherjee and her partner Sutirtha secured a bronze medal in the women’s doubles table tennis event.
Ayhika Mukherjee was born on Tuesday, 10 June 1997 (age 26 years; as of 2023) in Naihati, West Bengal, India. Her zodiac sign is Gemini.
Height (approx.): 5′ 3″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Ayhika’s father, Gautam Mukherjee served at the Border Security Force (BSF). He quit his job in 2010 to support and help train Ayhika. Her mother, Soma Mukherjee is a homemaker. Recalling the social injustice, prejudices and struggles, the family faced during the early days, she said,
When she was young, nobody supported our decision to make her play. People often used to ask me, ‘What Ayhika would achieve by playing table tennis?’ There were also unacceptable comments on her attire as well. But her father, uncles and aunts always backed her.”
Ayhika’s journey in table tennis spreads over two decades. Initially, she started her professional training for table tennis at the Youth Association Club in Naihati, under the guidance of coach Mihir Ghosh. She won all the state-ranking tournaments in 2008. Her inclination towards the sport was because of her mother. In an interview, she recalled,
A major reason why I picked up the sport is my mother. In West Bengal, it is very common for parents to get their daughters enrolled in singing or dancing classes at a young age, but my mother wanted something different for me. She wanted me to be in sports instead.”
She is one of the three former RP-SG Mavericks paddlers, who were a part of the Puneri Paltan in Ultimate Table Tennis Season 3.
In 2022, she started her training under Subhajit Saha, a former international table tennis player. She shared her training routine in an interview. She said,
I start my day with a gym session at 7 am. I commence my table tennis training at around 10am and continue untill 4pm. Although it takes almost two hours to get to the academy and return, I am confident of my preparations.”
In 2023, she formed a women’s doubles pair with Sutirtha Mukherjee. In an interview, she explained how the two got together as a team. She said,
So I know Sutirtha from childhood because we used to play together in the academy. Since 2006–07, I know Sutirtha. Before, we didn’t play doubles together, but recently, we started playing doubles because we thought that it would be good. And yes, we were right.”
Ayhika’s journey with important victories includes a World Table Tennis (WTT) title, a silver medal at the 2019 South Asian Games in the Table Tennis Doubles category and a historic win at the 2023 Asian Games quarterfinals. Ayhika and Sutirtha became India’s first women’s doubles pair to win a table tennis medal at the Asian Games by beating world champions, Chen Meng and Yidi Wang of China. They got India’s third table tennis medal at the Games after the men’s team and the mixed team of Manika Batra-Sharath Kamal in Jakarta in 2018.
On their achievement, former table tennis player Somoyadeep Roy, who also coaches the two at his academy in Kolkata, said,
Asian Games TT medal is equivalent to an Olympic medal, especially in women. What they have achieved today will go down in the books.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated the duo through a tweet.
Congratulations to Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee on winning the Bronze Medal. This is a special win because it is the first ever medal in the women's doubles event by India at the Asian Games.
Their dedication, skills and teamwork are exemplary. pic.twitter.com/wVK2WOShRk
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 2, 2023
Dropped out of the squad for the Birmingham Common Wealth Games
In 2022, after the announcement of the squad for the Birmingham Common Wealth 2022 by the Committee of Administrators, many experienced players who were dropped from the team raised their voices for foul play. Ayhika Mukherjee was among the ones who were dropped. In an interview, she said,
Unbelievable! I can’t believe they have selected the squad this way again. In 2018, before the Gold Coast Common Wealth Games as well, the selection procedure wasn’t made clear and even now, I can’t understand how they selected the team.”
Ayhika along with Tokyo Olympian Suthirta Mukherjee were also left out of the squad without any basis made transparent for the selection of the players. Other players like Swatika Gosh, who was India’s No. 4, took to social media platforms to request justice in the matter while Divya Chitale and a few others filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court to put a stay on the team selection and provide a fair decision. The Bridge
- Winner at State Championship 2018
- Winner at the Senior National Championships, Team event category, in 2019
- Winner at the South Zone Championship, Women’s Single, 2019
- Women’s singles gold medal at the Commonwealth Championships in Cuttack, Odisha, in 2019
- Winner at the Senior National Championships, in 2022
- Semi-finalist in the singles category at the Senior National Championships, in 2018
- Silver Medallist in the under-21 category at the Belgium Open 2022
- Silver medal in Women’s double, WTT Contender, Muscat 2022
- Women’s doubles table tennis at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, the People’s Republic of China, 2023
Awards and Honours
She received the Khel Samman Award in 2019 along with a special award from Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee for her performance in Table Tennis.
She received the Arjuna Award from the President of India Droupadi Murmu on 9 January 2024; the event was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
- Food: Ayhika has a sweet tooth and enjoys having Donuts.
- Table Tennis Player: Tiago Apolónia
- Her ranking, as of September 2023 is 177.
- Her signature shot is a backhand block.
- Ayhika Mukherjee is a right-hand player.
- Ayhika’s Highest rank was 95 in October 2019.
- Since Ayhika and Suthirta share the same surname and are childhood friends from the same town, they get confused as sisters and are often referred to as the ‘Mukherjee sisters’.
- Ayhika and Suthirta are ranked 16th in the world as of 2023, under the women’s doubles category. The Bridge
- In March 2023, Ayhika was featured in Sananda Magazine for her performance and achievement in Table Tennis.