The Table Tennis Federation of India president Dushyant Chautala expressed deep condolences on the sudden passing away of Tamil Nadu’s table tennis player Vishwa Deendayalan and announced ₹5 lakh to the bereaved family.

In his message to the family, Haryana’s Deputy Chief Minister said, “Vishwa Deendayalan, winner of the Under-19 title this year at Dehradun, was an exceptional talent and we all expected him to make India proud in the international arena. We have truly lost a champion. May God give strength to the family to bear this excruciating loss.”

Vishwa died in a road accident on his way to Shillong from Guwahati. The car in which he was travelling was involved in an accident with a truck. The driver of the car also died. Three other players received minor injuries.

Shillong hosts the National championship from Monday.

Three others injured

As per the details made available by the TTFI, a 12-wheel trailer, coming from the opposite direction, ploughed through the road divider and hit the taxi at Shangbangla, just after the Umliy check post, and plunged into the gorge. The taxi driver died on the spot, and Vishwa before reaching the Nongpoh Civil Hospital. The doctors declared him brought dead. Ramesh Santosh Kumar, Abinash Prasannaji Srinivasan and Kishore Kumar, who travelled with Vishwa, suffered severe injuries.

The organisers of the championships, with the Meghalaya government’s help, rushed them to the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) in Shillong for critical care. The team of doctors attending to them said the boys were stable. Competition manager N. Ganeshan also visited the three boys at the Institute.

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The father of Vishwa and a couple of family members will be arriving in Guwahati tonight and Vishwa’s embalmed body will be flown to Chennai tomorrow morning. The officials of the Meghalaya Table Tennis Association and that of the Ribhoi district administration at Nongpoh will oversee the completion of all the formalities and receive the bereaved family members at the airport.

Justice Gita Mittal, the chairperson of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), condoled the unfortunate death of Vishwa and also spoke to Kishore Kumar, wishing him and other players a speedy recovery. S. D. Mudgil, the other member of the CoA, also spoke to a higher-ranked police official of Assam for a hassle-free clearance at the airport tomorrow morning.

Vishwa, a promising player with several national ranking titles and international medals to his credit, was to represent India at the WTT Youth Contender at Linz, Austria, from April 27. Vishwa, a product of Krishnaswamy TT Club in Chennai’s Anna Nagar, was trained by Ramnath Prasad and Jai Prabhu Ram had come in for praise from none other than Sharath Kamal. The ace paddler rated him as a highly-talented boy with a lot of promise.

Vishwa’s rise to stardom was also steady. His transition from Cadet to Sub-Junior to Junior section was an eye-opener for any teenager aspiring to make it big. He had won the Cadet and Sub-Junior National titles also. The B.Com student of Loyola College won the Under-19 Boys title during the Dehra Dun National Ranking Tournament this January.