In India, the count of talented table tennis players is not less. The country is blessed with some of the most talented players, then may it be Manika Batra or Sharath Kamal. The Indian paddlers had a breakthrough 2018, where they won big at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. Unlike earlier times, today the game is recognized with more respect in the country and across the world. Want to know more about of Paddling heroes? Here is a list of top 10 famous table tennis players in India:
Neha Aggarwal is an Indian table tennis player from Delhi. Having done her schooling from Delhi Public School, the paddler showed signs of genius early by winning the Junior National Table Tennis Championship held at Ahmedabad and Kolkata. In the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, she was the only woman from India to participate in that discipline. Aggarwal received the limelight after beating Poulomi Ghatak and Mouma Das, who had been favoured to win. However, she didn’t receive a medal as she lost to Chinese born Australian Jian Fang Lay. As of now, Neha is pursuing her Masters in Sports Management from Columbia University, New York, United States of America.
Ankita Das is an Indian table tennis player from Siliguri, West Bengal. She won at the 75th senior National table tennis Championships in Women’s singles event. Das had the distinction of representing India at the 2012 Summer Olympics in Women’s singles event. In 2011, she received the fair play award at the Junior World Championship 2011. She gained popularity after receiving the player award in the senior Asian championship.
Ankita Das made history with 10 years of playing continuous national finals in her career. The number of medals she clinched in her career is huge including the gold medal in the teams, and singles got an 8th position in cadet challenge, and bronze, silver, gold in Lusofonia games.
Soumyajit Ghosh is an Indian table tennis player from Siliguri, West Bengal. At the very beginning of his career, he became the youngest Indian player to qualify for the London, 2012 Olympics. Ghosh also became the youngest national champion at the age of 19 in the 74th National Table Tennis Championships. In April 2017, Soumyajit Ghosh won the ITTF Challenge Seamaster Chile Open singles event. Considering her immense talent, bigger things are expected from Soumyajit Ghosh.
Amalraj Anthony Arputharaj is a professional table tennis player from Tamil Nadu. He won numerous medals at various International tournaments. He won the silver medal at 2014 Commonwealth Games in doubles with Sharath Kamal. Anthony also won the National Table Tennis Championship in January 2012, beating the toughest Indian table tennis player Sharath Kamal in the finals.
He won a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held at Gold Coast, Australia in men’s event with Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran & Sanil Shetty. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2017.
Kamlesh Navinchandra Mehta is a retired table tennis player. He ruled the Indian TT for 10 long years. Mehta captained the Indian team from 1982 to 1989 and was the highest ranked Indian player in Asia, the Commonwealth and the world. He represented India in seven world championships, eight Asian championships, two Asian Games, four South Asian Federation games, two Olympic Games and many more.
Mehta’s career-best performance was in the SAF Games in 1991 at Colombo where he won seven gold and four silver medals. He was awarded the Arjuna Award, in 1985. In 2017, he was appointed as the national observer for table tennis by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. Mehta currently runs a TT academy by his name.
Poulomi Ghatak is a table tennis player from West Bengal. She began her sports career in 1992 and since then her performances always got better. Ghatak played at the Sydney Olympics at the age of 16. Ghatak also played in the Indian Open finals in 2007. In 1998, she won both the senior national and junior national championships. The then young prodigy then won three consecutive junior national championships in 1996, 1998 and 1999. She also won seven senior national championships between 1998 and 2016. She represented her country at the Commonwealth Games at Melbourne in 2006.
Mouma Das is yet another Bengali paddler to make it big in the world of table tennis. She represented India at multiple international events in the early 2000s. She has secured multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games including a gold in the Women’s Team Competition in 2018. In in 2013, the Indian government awarded Das with India’s second highest sporting honour, the Arjuna Award, for her contributions towards the sport.
At the December 2015 Commonwealth Championships, she clinched a silver in the singles event along with a team medal. She has become the maximum Commonwealth medal winning Indian Table Tennis player. Das was also a part of the Women’s team that won the Gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Presently, she is an employee of OIL (Oil India Ltd.).
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran one of the most famous table tennis player in India. He was nowhere near the top 100 ranks in the world until a few months ago and now has become India’s highest-ranked player in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings with rank 28. In September 2016 Sathiyan clinched the Belgium Open table tennis title in the men’s singles category. Two years later, the star paddler defeated 27th-ranked Yuya Oshima, to enter men’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open. In 2018, the 26-year-old received the TOISA Table Tennis player of the year award. In the same year, the government honoured Sathiyan with the Arjuna award.
Manika Batra is one of the best Indian medal prospects in table tennis at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Both her elder siblings played table tennis and she began playing at the age of four. Later, Batra won a match in a state-level under-8 tournament and decided to take it as a career and started training in Hans Raj Model School. Her career achievements include three medals at the 2015 Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships, three gold medals at the 2016 South Asian Games. Manika Batra is the 1st Indian woman to bag a commonwealth table tennis individual gold medal, a feat that she achieved at the 2018 Gold Coast CWG. Currently, she is the top-ranked female table tennis player in India with 47th rank in the world.
Sharath Kamal is arguably the best professional table tennis player that India has ever produced. Current ranked at 30, he has won the Senior National Champion nine times, breaking Kamlesh Mehta’s record of eight National Champion medals. He is also the winner of US Open Table Tennis Men’s championships held at Grand Rapids, Michigan in July 2010 and won the gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The 36-year-old paddler won three medals in 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, gold in men’s team event with Anthony Amalraj, Harmeet Desai, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran. Recently, the Indian government honoured him with the fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri.