Archana Kamath’s Consistency Is Proof That She’d Be The Next Big Thing In Indian Table Tennis
- IWB Post
- January 10, 2019
At just 18 years, Archana Kamath has already started making it big in the national table tennis scene with her aggressive and carefully trained style.
She showed great promise last year at the Senior National Championships 2018 by beating Manika Batra to win her first senior singles national title. The fact that she managed to achieve the feat by keeping a lead throughout says a lot about her potential.
Speaking of her 11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8 win over Batra, Kamath said in a recent interaction with Scroll, “I was really happy just to get the chance to play Manika,” said Kamath. “When India was playing in the Commonwealth Games, I remember just jumping up and down on the bed [during Batra’s matches]. It only survived because it was a strong bed. So, to me, playing her was a big deal.”
She added, “There are a lot of subtle variations in Manika’s game but it can never be easy. You have to be very consistent to beat her. Luckily, I was.”
However, it was her round-of-32 match against Niveditha Balusuri that remains her favourite to date. In the match, she managed to make a comeback despite her initial brush with disappointment with a score of 0-3.
“It was a very tough match. I really was struggling against her game and it looked like it was all over but, somehow, I managed to fight back at the win. It was important because the win gave me a lot of self-belief,” explains Kamath.
Over the past couple of years, she has displayed impeccable mental strength and persistence and accredits it to the 2018 Youth Olympics. She became the first Indian to reach the semi-finals there and that indeed worked as a confidence booster for her.
“I think it was a very good experience for me. Most importantly, the results there taught me to believe in myself; taught me that things can change at any time and that is why it is important not to give up,” she recollects.
It was in 2013 when Kamath first grabbed eyeballs by winning an unprecedented 30 titles across various age categories at the Karnataka State Ranking Table Tennis Tournaments. After that, she gave consistent performances at the junior level and was also given the chance to represent the Indian team.
In the following year, she became the only Indian to be selected to represent TEAM ASIA at the ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Barbados in Oct 2014 and managed to win a Team Silver there.
The year 2015 saw her becoming the first Indian girl to reach the quarter-finals of the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals in Indore. Clearly, the girl has made it quite big at a really early age. However, her parents have ensured to keep her grounded and not let it get to her head. She certainly has great potential and is being trained by the best in the field.
“I just love attacking. Every ball is an opportunity to hit the top-spin. Sometimes, the coaches tell me to tone things down but that is not easy to do for me,” she says.