Carrom: Feel happy to be first world online champion, says Srinivas

K. Srinivas, the 2014 Carrom World Cup champion, clinched the men’s singles title at the inaugural World Online Carrom Challenge.

K. Srinivas of India won the inaugural 2020 World online carrom challenge men's singles title.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

For K. Srinivas, the 2014 Carrom World Cup champion, it was another moment to cherish when he clinched the men’s singles title at the inaugural World Online Carrom Challenge, organised by the International Carrom Federation and featuring about 80 players including those from the UK, Switzerland, Canada and Sri Lanka, on Tuesday night with a fluent win over teammate Riaz Akbar Ali. Nagajothi of Tamil Nadu won the women’s singles title.

“I feel happy to be the first world online champion, though the usual buzz is missing like spectators hovering around, prize distribution,” said Srinivas, who received a winner’s purse of ₹30,000.

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“Well, this is a different kind of experience, playing the sport without seeing the opponent. The biggest challenge is not to miss the straight coin as it will hamper your chances of pocketing the next coin. So, we have to avoid that with lot of care,” said the 27-year-old.

“You still need lot of skills to stay on top. There is a different kind of pressure, even though the body language of the players, which often plays a psychological role, is missing here,” said Srinivas, an assistant manager with Indian Oil Corp., who notched up 16 slams including two ultimate slams (white and black in succession).

“More than anything else, this format ensures there is some activity during the current COVID-19 crisis. This is important for any player to stay in touch with the game,” he added.

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In terms of technical support, the officials are already working on improving the video quality during the games, Srinivas said. “If there is a power failure, then it will be a fresh board and not from the position where it was disrupted.”

Buoyed by the success of this format, efforts are already on to have similar tournaments, beginning with at least the top 16 players in men’s and women’s singles at the state level.

“We have already begun the groundwork for this format and will soon announce the schedule,” said B.K. Haranath, founder-president of the Telangana Carrom Association.

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