Mumbai boy, Ashwin Subramanian does it again. He won the National Table Tennis Championships held in Gandhidham, Gujarat, between January 16th & 21st, thereby retaining his position as India’s No.1 player in the Cadet Boys’ Category ( Under 12 ). He beat Udit Bhattacharya of West Bengal in the best of seven finals, 4-2. This is the highest award one can get in this category. He is also the Maharashtra State Champion in his age category as he had earlier won the Maharashtra State Championships Table Tennis Tournament, 2012 held in Aurangabad in December 2012.
The competition was very tough in every single round. Ashwin faced stiff resistence from Andhra Pradesh’s boy in the group stage. Though he won and qualified from the group, he had a tough draw with Bengal players breathing down his neck at every stage. He won in the decider against Bengal player, Sayan Chatterjee in the pre- quarterfinals. But the real scare came in the quarter finals where he came across another Bengal player, Soumyadip Ghosh. He was down 0-2 in the best of five games. In the third game he was down 0-3 and nothing was working for him. Ashwin took time out and started playing with calm and composure. He took the next three games thereby winning 3-2.
In the semi finals, he had another tough opponent, Anukram Jain, from PSPB. Ashwin lost to him in the quarter finals of the team championships. This time, Ashwin dominated and prevailed over him 4-1 thereby making the finals. Though he had defeated Udit Bhattacharya twice earlier, he didn’t take his opponent lightly as this was the National Championships final. Ashwin tookan early lead winning the first two games very quickly 11-5, 11-5. But a lapse in concentration cost him the next two games which he lost 8-11 & 9-11. Realising that this is a big stage, Ashwin quickly regained his composure and closed out the match winning the next two games 11-5 and 11-2.
A class VII student of DAV Public School, Airoli, Ashwin practices in “Kalidas” indoor sports complex in Mulund (West) under the able guidance of coach Mr. K.K. Rai. Mr. Rai is the current Veteran National Champion. Ashwin gives all the credit to his coach for guiding him so well and making him a good & confident player. “I am very lucky to have a coach like him. He not only teaches me well, but also is a friend, philosopher and a guide” says Ashwin. Mr Rai too praises his ward. He says, “Ashwin put in a lot of hard work and is a good learner. He quickly tries to rectify his mistakes during match situations and that is a very good quality. I am very happy to have a student like him”.
Ashwin’s dream of representing the country will be realised soon as he consolidated his position as India’s no.1. The top 4 players will get an opportunity to be part of India camp. Ashwin is looking forward to wear the India T-shirt and represent the country. Good start for a promising career.