Table of Contents
Ankur Bhattacharya can simply be called a prodigy. Since 2014, this 16-year lad has been almost undefeated in the nursery, cadet, Sub-junior, and youth categories in state and national level competitions. Along with amazing consistency, Ankur has also participated in around 15 international competitions donning India shirts and never lost before the quarter-final stage in the under-15, 17, and under-19 categories. His awesome consistency has added precious feathers such as gold in the South Asian Games, silver in Asian Championship, and World Junior TT in the under-15, under-17, and under-19 categories. Along with the laurels, Ankur has also earned victories against World’s top paddlers. He defeated L. Louis, the paddler of Belgium who stunned legendary Ma Long. Ankur has been the only paddler from Bengal to have won four medals (two silvers, and two bronze medals) in the Youth World Tour. Even in 2022, after stepping into the men’s category for the first time, Ankur has dished out a magnificent show winning all national ranking tournaments except losing in one competition.
Ankur Bhattacharya used to love cricket in his childhood and initially, he was not fond of Table Tennis although his father Anshuman Bhattacharya, and his mother Kuntali Bhattacharya, both were professional players at the state and national levels. Anshuman informed,
“We went to take part in a veterans’ competition. During that meet, Ankur became fond of playing the game.”
Ankur trains under the tutelage of his father and mother and also practices almost 9-10 hours every day at their home. Ankur does physical exercise under the guidance of his father. He loves to deliver an attacking brand of the game completely. The 10th standard student of Shailendra Sarkar Vidyalaya, a traditional school in the north of Kolkata, said,
“Whatever trophies and performances I have delivered till now all credit goes to my father. I practice 9 to 10 hours a day and my father accompanies me fully. My table tennis is only influenced by him.”
Ankur’s parents also spend a lot of time doing research work and furnishing the modern style of play so that their son can match the opposition in international competitions.
Effect of Zhang Jike & Peter Carlsson
Legendary former Chinese paddler Zhang Jike is the ‘dream player’ of Ankur. He commented,
“I used to watch only the videos of Jike. He is an outstanding player. Now also, watch his videos, and try to learn techniques from his style. I have the desire to shake hands with him at least once.”
Ankur relishes a great memory of another legendary former paddler Peter Carlsson, who congratulated him and offered him some advice after Ankur defeated a paddler from Qatar in an international competition. Carlsson was the coach of the Qatar national team at that time. Ankur said,
“I always relish as I could not have imagined such a legendary player would come to me and talk.”
Ankur Bhattacharya dreams of winning international medals in the men’s category. He clarified,
“Even top Indian paddlers of the present time are not able to win medals in the men’s singles events in international competitions. I want to break that jinx.”
Virat Kohli‘s attitude inspires Ankur. He explained,
“Kohli always expresses confidence through his attitude. I also always murmur the only line before any match that I am the best and I will win. This attitude always boots me.”
Ankur also has the will to break Sharath Kamal‘s record of winning consecutive nine individual senior national championship titles. He knows the men’s category will be the actual challenge for him to maintain this amazing consistency.