Assam youth taking keen interest in table tennis
The annual Hiren Baruah Memorial tournament here has become one of the most awaited events for young table tennis players of the state.
The youngsters practice hard to perform well in the event and present their case for the national qualifiers.
Speaking to media, 14-year old table tennis player, Shurakar Srutikar, said, "I dream to be the world no.1 table tennis player."
Srutikar took to game at the age of eight, and practices three hours a day to make it to the national team.
He has won medals at state and national level, and he recently won the 7th Hiren Baruah Memorial All Assam Ranking Table Tennis Tournament, 2012 in the junior category.
Jorhat District Table Tennis Association, under the aegis of Assam Table Tennis Association had organised the event.
"I have participated in many national level tournaments and Asian Games. I have won many medals in regional tournaments too. It will be very tough to become a good player, but I will try my best to achieve something good and become a great player in future,"he said.
Table tennis as a sport is gaining popularity in Assam and youth are increasingly choosing it as a career.
More than 200 players participated in this year's Hiren Baruah tournament and the numbers have been increasing.
The competition awarded points to the players adding up in their national rankings. The main purpose of the tournament however was to provide a platform to upcoming players.
Another emerging talent from Jorhat, S. Rajkhowa, said, "I practiced very hard to reach semi-final and my coach also helped me in playing well. It was a tough challenge for all the players coming from different parts of Assam."
The region has a lot of sporting talent that is now coming to the forefront as militancy has faded away, giving room to the people to experiment with their careers.