TT: Youth champion Snehit chasing bigger dreams

Fidel R. Snehit is the first Hyderabad player in more than 50 years to win the youth boys title at the junior national table tennis championship in Jammu.

Fidel R. Snehit (centre) with parents on return after winning the Youth National table tennis championship singles title in Jammu.   -  Special Arrangement

For Fidel R. Snehit, the recent title triumph in the Youth boys category of the Junior national table tennis championship in Jammu happens to be the most memorable of all his wins.

Reason? This happens to be the first one for a Hyderabadi after the Arjuna Awardee Mir Khasim Ali won it more than 50 years ago.

"Yes, it feels great to come to know of this. Khasim sir is a legend to all of us and to emulate his feat is A truly memorable feeling," says Snehit in a chat with Sportstar.

"After a disappointing year so far when I lost in the pre-quarterfinals of the last four major events, to finish 2019 on a high is immensely satisfying," he says.

How exactly did it happen? "I was training under Raman Sir (former national champion S. Raman) in Chennai for about three years before joining MLR Academy here one month back under Somnath Ghosh sir. Incidentally, I was with him at the Global Table Tennis Academy when I started playing in the national circuit," he says.

"Definitely, the focus was on fitness and improving my defence to have the right kind of balance in my game," says the 19-year-old Snehit.

"I believe my forehand topspin is my strong point though I am aware of the need to keep improving my allround game," he feels.

Snehit idolises nine-time National champion Sharat Kamal, who also significantly helps this young talent in getting training stints abroad.

A second year Degree student of Mass Communication in St. Joseph's College here, Snehit is now gunning for bigger glory in the Senior Nationals to be held in Hyderabad next month.

With Airports Authority of India giving a stipend, this young champion is seeking support to puruse his bigger dreams. ‘Frankly, I feel this is the most critical phase of my career and would be glad if I get the kind of support I need to chase bigger dreams,” Snehit signed off.