THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Anokh G Nair, a Class X student of St Thomas Higher Secondary School, Mukkola here, has created history by winning the Under -17 State level table tennis(TT) championship for the third straight time. Now, his aim is to get into the Indian team and bring laurels for the country in the form of an Olympic gold medal.
When a young Anokh showed signs of hyperactivity, doctors at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College advised his parents, S Gopalakrishnan Nair, general manager with PTC group, and T S Ambily to get him into sports. They were a bit apprehensive about a four-and-a-half-year-old Anokh pursuing outdoor sports. Instead, they steered him to a ping-pong court. The rest was history as Anokh took on a journey with breathtaking rallies under Jobin J Christy, coach at Kerala State Sports Council. By the time Anokh was 10, he was selected by Petroleum Sports Promotion Board, which saw him playing for them at Ajmer, Rajasthan, for two years. But a bout of hepatitis and a relapse forced his parents to return to the capital city.
"Anokh has been a consistent player and has always surprised us with his grit and passion for the sport. Despite my job compulsions, I make it a point to accompany Anokh to various championships across the country. He used to proudly say right from the time he was a young boy that his biggest ambition is to win an Olympic gold," Ambily, who works as a health inspector at Kudappanakunnu Chettivilakam Primary Health Centre told The New Indian Express.
Currently, the duo is gearing up to leave for Dehradun on Monday to play in the All India Open National Ranking Tournament. A national-level bronze medal winner in 2017, Anokh recently played in the Under -17 and Under 19 All India Open Ranking Championships held at Chandigarh. Anokh told TNIE that he has been on the lookout for good sponsors.
"We had to cough up Rs 60, 000 for our 10-day trip to Chandigarh. Every month, I am participating in various national championships to improve my game which requires a generous amount of funding from sponsors. Then, my pursuit of the dream of an Olympic gold can be attained," said Anokh, who loves to watch India's Manav Thakkar, world number one in U-21.
Anokh is also good in academics and does not compromise on his studies. His elder brother, Amokh, a fourth year student of computer engineering, is also a state-level table tennis player.