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Paddlers train in China

Tura, May 7: Two Meghalaya paddlers, both 12 years old, are undergoing training at Hebei Zhengding International Training Centre in China as part of a 13-member Indian team on an exposure tour.

The duo, Chesan Ch. Marak and Netra Dechiga S. Sangma, were ranked first in the state in the cadet category last year and have represented Meghalaya in national and inter-state tournaments.

“Though they have been winning bits and pieces, they are really very promising kids. I hope this trip will help them improve,” Meghalaya Table Tennis Association secretary Chiranjiv Choudhury told The Telegraph in Guwahati over phone from Shillong.

“We had sent two more children on a similar tour to China last year and one of them is doing very well this year. This is an encouragement which helps the promising youngsters gain confidence,” Choudhury added.

Chesan, son of Johnny A. Sangma and Chechi Ch. Marak, is a Class VIII student of Don Bosco Secondary School here, while Netra is the daughter of Balnang R. Sangma and Sunita S. Sangma and is a Class VIII student of Tura Public School.

About sending the players to China, a sports powerhouse, Choudhury said, “The TTFI is trying to promote the sport in this part of the country which has abundant talent. Our kids lack the professional approach. These trips not only help them gain confidence but also inculcates a professionalism. Assam was once very good in table-tennis which proves that the Northeast is definitely a talent pool. Though Assam has now lost that glory, the TTFI is trying to get it back ,” he said.