Preyesh Suresh Raj: The all-conquering cadet

Winning the national sub-junior championships and taking part in the 2024 Olympic Games are the goals the 12-year-old Preyesh has set himself.

THANE, MAHARASHTRA, 15/11/2017: Winner S. Preyesh Raj in action against Shantesh Mapsekar in the boys cadet final of the 11Even Sports West Zone National Ranking Table Tennis tournament in Thane on November 15, 2017. Photo: Vivek Bendre   -  THE HINDU

Age: 12

From: Chennai

Education: Std. VI

Discipline: Table tennis

Mentor: V. Chandrasekar, former national champion.

Favourite table tennis players: Ma Long, Jan-Ove Waldner & G. Sathiyan.

Aim: To win the national sub-junior championships, and to take part in Olympics 2024.

Beginning: My father was an amateur TT player and I took to the sport after seeing him play. I joined Medimix-Chandra TT Academy in 2013. I have improved my game under Chandra sir. In my first State-ranking tournament in Chennai, I reached the pre-quarterfinals in the mini-cadet section. I felt very happy. After a year of joining the academy, I started winning tournaments in the mini-cadet category. It felt great.

Rubber preference:

Preyesh uses inverted rubber (smooth rubber) as he does topspin on both flanks.

Strengths: Sound service, great ball sense and an effective backhand.

Weakness: A predominantly defensive paddler, he is yet to master the art of finishing off points.

Focus area: Preyesh needs to convert his backhand to forehand and finish off points. He has to play more backhand counters. Most of all, he needs to improve his service and his fitness.

Chandrasekar (Mentor):

He joined us five years ago and has done well since then. He has grown from strength to strength. There might have been a few setbacks, but overall it has been a success story. He must improve on his backhand technique. He should also improve on his service as his opponents have started to read them. He focuses more on defensive game close to the table, and if that can be turned into aggression, the day is not far off when he will bring laurels to the country.

Grooming them young: V. Chandrasekhar (left), director, SDAT-Chandra Table Tennis Academy, supervises the progress of his ward Preyesh Suresh Raj.   -  M. Vedhan


S. Preetha (Mother):

He is a hard working boy and has big ambitions. He is very dedicated and gets ready for practice on his own without any prodding from us.

S. Suresh Raj (Father):

He also plays other sports like cricket, carrom and billiards. In fact, when he doesn’t have table tennis tournaments to participate in, the school (Chennai Public School) picks him up for cricket. All his wants revolve around table tennis. We want him to do well, but no pressure. He is a self-motivated boy.


In the cadets' section, he won all the five National-ranking tournaments and the National championships last year.

India No.1 in cadet section.

For the last three years, he has been part of the Tamil Nadu team which clinched the cadets gold.

Early success: Preyesh is just 12 but he already has an overflowing trophy cabinet.   -  Special Arrangement


Singles winner of the Hopes boys category in the South Asian junior & Cadet championships in Maldives in 2018.

Singles runner-up in the Asia Hopes