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Rishaan Chattopadhyay or Chatterjee is a new wonder boy in Bengal table tennis (TT). Rishaan is the only paddler who has never lost below the last-four stage, participating in 19 ranking competitions last season, across the country in the under-11 category of TT. The 10-year-old boy has taken part in two national ranking zonal championships and in the national championships last season where he has been champion in the national championship to place himself as India’s number one ranked paddler in the under-11 category. At the same time, Rishaan won the state championship last season and he is number one ranked in the state in his category.
The Beginning of Rishaan
Rishaan, a student of the fifth standard at Adamas International School, Kolkata, started playing TT just five years ago under the guidance of Debabrata Chakrabarty at the local Belgharia Azad Hind Sangha club.
According to his father Debarghya Chattopadhyay,
“Rishaan was highly passionate about the game from childhood. That is why along with training at Belgharia Azad Hind Sangha, I also have arranged infrastructure at our home by installing a table tennis board and pieces of equipment so that Rishaan does not lose focus. He has some special characteristics as he is able to improvise shots often which he generally does not practice. He lacks concentration generally but once he steps onto the board Rishaan becomes a different person. He also can balance his study with table tennis in such a mature way that we have not yet faced any kind of anxiety over him.”
His coach Debabrata Chakrabarty also had an appreciation for his student. He termed Rishaan as highly instinctive. The coach stated,
“Rishaan is extremely spontaneous, enthusiastic, and precisely instinctive. I never try to obstruct or change his attitude and it reflects in his game. Even in a difficult situation when he trails, Rishaan can deliver exceptional shots and come back. He has shown it many times. His tremendous passion and instinct always drive him to offer exceptional shots at any time.”
Rishaan generally does not watch videos on table tennis. Rather he prefers to make an analysis of his matches or his opponents with his father and coach. His favorite shot is forehand topspin and he mentioned Manav Thakkar‘s name saying,
“His style of unleashing forehand topspin is beautiful. I try to execute the shot following his style.”
He stressed saying,
“I never dream in sleep. But I daydream where I see I am standing on the Olympics podium with the desired medal.”