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City lad Srinivas strikes it big

V. V. Subrahmanyam
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National carrom champion K. Srinivas.
National carrom champion K. Srinivas.

For K. Srinivas it has been a terrific journey from the bylanes of Parsigutta locality in Secunderabad to be crowned the youngest-ever senior national carrom champion at the age of 20.

This gifted player shocked former world champion Yogesh Pardesi 13-25, 21-17, 25-6 in the men’s singles final in Akola (Maharashtra).

Interestingly, the champion’s father K. Yellaiah, who earns livelihood by running a small-time hair dressing saloon, is not sure of the national title’s significance as it is his mother Sayamma who keeps track of the son’s rise in the circuit. Srinivas is the first Hyderabadi to win the title, after Ravinder Goud, who achieved a similar feat in 2006.

And when Srinivas, accompanied by Hyderabad Carrom Association founder president B. K. Haranath called on top SAAP official T.R.K. Rao on Thursday to remind the incentive which he is due for winning the national title, it clearly reflected how champions in lesser-known sports disciplines still struggle for recognition.

Inspired by brother

Srinivas, who took to carrom after being inspired by his brother K. Tirupati, won the State-level title when he clinched the under-14 title at Victory Playground. He is also the reigning Fed Cup champion and India No. 3 in the seniors category.

“Winning the senior national is really special and that too against my own teammate and ex-world champion Yogesh. I learnt so much watching him and M. Nataraj of Indian Airlines in recent times,” said Srinivas, for whom it was his fifth senior national tourney.

He has big plans ahead. “The 2014 World Cup and the 2016 World Championships are the big goals I am chasing. I hope to realise my dreams,” he says.

Dedicates win to coach

The newly-crowned national champion dedicated his victory to coach Shobhan Raj and his brother Tirupathi. He also elated for having completed a ‘double’ by winning the team title too for IOC in the senior nationals!

At 20 he is the youngest-ever to

be crowned the senior national carrom champion

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