Youngsters in the state are moving ahead with confidence
A fresh crop of youngsters always holds out hope. So it is with table tennis in the state, where a set of players makes a splash at the state level and then advances to the national stage with added confidence.
While Jishnu Vakaria of the Gujarati Seva Mandal (GSM) reigns supreme in the sub-junior boys section when it comes to rankings, his teammate V.S. Hari Krishna is right behind him. At the recent state ranking tournament at Anantapur, Hari clinched the sub-junior crown by defeating Rounak Vyas of the Anandnagar Welfare Association (AWA).
Hari's triumph featured in a rich haul of five winner and one runner-up titles for GSM in the said competition. Not scared of taking on older players, Hari ventured into the youth boys section, where he stunned V.V.S. Kaushik.
It was a glorious double for the chubby and bubbly Varuni Jaiswal, also of GSM. The gritty girl retained both the cadet and sub-junior titles by defeating Nagashravani and Vaishali respectively. That she got the better of her opponents, both of them hailing from Anantapur and cheered much by the local crowd; speak of Varuni's tenacity and her will to win.
Nikhat Banu was the pioneer for GSM, her winning ways having become a habit over time. Always forthcoming in helping her teammates, she has become a motivational force and role model for the young ones. At the state ranking event, Nikhat was at her commanding best and suppressed all challenges en route to winning the youth girls and women's titles. Tirelessly training GSM players has been coach Maduri Venugopal, who has over the last decade ensured they go places by carefully nurturing their talent. Cadet boys defending champion Sai Tejas, also of GSM conceded the crown to Fidel Snehit, another promising prospect on the state TT firmament. A student of Somnath Ghosh at the Global Table Tennis Academy (GTTA), Snehit packs enough potential to make a mark in the years to come.