Ankolika Chakrabarty is presently the country’s one of the most promising table tennis players. The 11-year-old girl has recently drawn the attention of India’s table tennis fraternity by winning the gold medal in the singles of the under-11 category World Youth Contender championship, held in Cairo. Even, in the under-13 category the girl from Naihati, West Bengal bagged a bronze medal in the same competition. Her coach Prasenjit Sarkar also a former paddler, was in the Indian Railways team in the 90s informed, Ankolita’s ranking in the world after the gold medal in Cairo is currently 11th. The number one ranked player in India in the under-11 category as well as 4th in the under-13 category, Ankolika is the current national champion in the under-11 category and also champion in all the zonal championships. The student in 5th standard in St. Luke’s has started representing the country this year.
Ankolika Chakrabarty’s Aspiration
The most favorite paddler of Ankolika Chakrabarty is Manika Batra. Speaking over the phone, she uttered,
“I want to become a player like Manika Batra. I want to be the national champion in the senior category. I also have a dream of shaking hands with Manika.” The paddler who generally likes to deliver an attacking brand of the game with her key ammunition, forehand topspin practices around 5 to 6 six hours every day under the careful observation of Prasenjit and Tapasi. Commenting on her post-tournament analysis, Ankolika pointed out saying, “The semifinal match against India’s Pritha Pawar in the under-13 category in Cairo was the most difficult match I played.”
“Ankolika is very calm and nonchalant by nature and I feel that is one of the major strengths. Even after having clinched the gold medal in Cairo, she did not get ecstatic. She only had a smile while standing on the podium. I feel she can store her psychological strength.”
Ankolika Chakrabarty & Nistha Academy
Prasenjit Sarkar and his wife Tapasi who also was a national champion paddler in the sub-junior category had constructed Nishtha Coaching school in Naihati around in 2009. According to Prasenjit, around40 boys and girls are training in their school. They have laid four TT boards on the roof of their own house while the roof has been covered. Not only Ankolika Chakrabarty, but a couple of young paddlers from this school have also already been successful such as Joyeeta Bannerjee, Ayan Ghosh who was the captain of the Indian team in the World School in France, Diya Bramhachari, and Disha Roy. Presently, I have one student Priyanshu Karmakar who is number one in Bengal in the under-15 category.
Dependence on Rubber
When asked about his coaching technique Prasenjit clarified,
“My observation says that today in the world of table tennis, proper usage of rubbers helps the players to make difference with others. Otherwise, nowadays the difference between the country’s top players is minor. That is why the usage of rubber has been the key factor.” Ankolika plays with long-pimpled rubber and as it has got tricky nature, she can sharpen her game if the technique of playing with this rubber can be mastered. Today, the country’s top female paddlers like Manika and Sutirtha Mukhopadhay use long-pimpled rubbers. Even I noticed in Cairo that the foreign players were also curious about this rubber. “
Prasenjit sounded optimistic about Ankolika’s future. He clarified,-- Advertisement --
“I also have noticed that Ankolika has already started defeating the top paddlers of the upper age group. She is hard-working and psychologically very strong. If she can be guided properly Ankolika can shine also at the senior level.”
Simultaneously, Prasenjit feels Ankolika Chakrabarty needs to take part in more competitions. But a couple of months ago, Ankolika could not travel to Bangkok to participate in international competition even though her name was sent to the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and the most unfortunate part of the story was that the country’s 46th ranked paddler was sent to the same competition omitting India’s number one ranked Ankolika.
“After that incident, I have decided to send Ankolika individually to the competitions outside India. I will send Ankolika to Doha in January to take part in a similar international competition.”