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Chandigarh boy Arnav tops PSPB trials



Ajmer, June 12: The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) trials 2017 for selection and induction of Cadet Boys into their Academy at Ajmer were successfully completed here on Sunday evening.


The selection trials were conducted under the supervision of Dronacharya Bhavani Mukherjee, Arjuna awardee Manjit Singh Dua and chief referee Atul Dubey in the presence of K.L. Tejwani, PSPB Joint Secretary and former TTFI secretary General Dhanraj Choudhary.


The 20 candidates in the age group of 10-12 years-all recommended by state affiliates of the Table Tennis Federation of India-that participated in the trials were divided into four groups of five players each with eight of them qualifying for the super league.


As per the format, the eight paddlers had to play against one another for the selection panel to assess their abilities and skills on the table before the players were put physical conditioning tests based on six parameters. Each win by a player fetched him two points and separate marks for physical tests. Subsequently, the eight boys were graded 1-8 on the basis of cumulative marks obtained. Chandigarh’s Arnav Agarwal, with an all-win record in the super league, topped the chart.


Now the ball is in the PSPB court and the authorities will decide on the number boys to be inducted into their Academy this season. All those taken in will be entitled to free board and lodging, apart from free schooling which includes all expenses towards fee, uniform and books, transport etc. PSPB also arranges school admissions of the boys.


Over and above, the Academy also takes care of sending the boys to participate in national ranking and national championships conducted by the TTFI even as it provides free training, sports kit and travel expenses to venues and back plus Rs. 500 per month per boy towards pocket allowance.


The PSPB academy has a reputation of nurturing and grooming young talent for more two decades now since its inception way back in 1995.


Some of the former and current players dominating the national circuit, including Soumyajit Ghosh, Harmeet Desai, Jubin Kumar, Manav  Thakkar, to name a few, have come from the PSPB stable. They are the best things to happen in Indian table tennis and have made big splashes in various international arenas.


“This year, we limited ourselves to selecting only Cadet Boys because we want the boys to spend more years in the Academy to get excellent training and tournament exposures so that they have the measure of everything,” said joint secretary Tejwani, who personally saw the recruitment process.


Tajwani said the Academy, managed by administrator Suresh Sharma, has grown in stature over the years and it was looking at improving its standards further. “The Academy is adequately funded and we would do all that we can to enhance our reputation. We are already looking at appointing a foreign coach and TTFI has forwarded to us the resume of a couple of coaches,” he said.


Players’ ranking with points:


1.       Arnav Agarwal 14 points, (Chd),


2.       Shlok Bajaj 13, (Guj),


3.      H. Lalrutsunga 12, (Mizoram),


4.       Anokh G. Nair 11, (Kerala),


5.       Divyansh Mudgal 10, (Del),


6.       Ayan Aziz 9, (Assam),


7.       Harshit Kumar 8 (Bihar),


8.       Sumanraj 7, (Pondy).