By Neha Aggarwal
India’s Anthony Amalraj was waiting for this day to come since a long time now. A podium finish at a World Tour event was missing from his kitty which he check marked last week.
“I never thought of winning a gold medal in a World Tour event. It’s a dream come true because I have always seen China, Japan or Germany winning titles. Winning the gold medal for India at Chile Open was a big big achievement for me,” said the thrilled Amalraj recalling his recent win at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Chile Open.
Amalraj partnered with teammate Soumyajit Ghosh to win the gold medal in the men’s doubles beating Philipp Floritz (BUL) and Hunor Szocs (ROU) in the finals.
In the men’s singles however, Amalraj lost to his teammate and doubles partner Soumyajit Ghosh in the finals and thus settled with the silver medal.
But Amalraj, who is currently ranked at no.147 in the global charts, states the importance of this win in his career.
“After so many years of playing at the World Tour, I have finally started playing good, I just want to continue this form and keep winning for India.”- Amalraj Anthony
Amalraj, now 31 years of age, has been a regular participant at the international arena since he was a junior. He made his debut at the world stage at the 2003 Canadian Junior Open held at Edmonton, Canada. He soon made his debut appearance at the senior level at the 2006 German Open held at Bayreuth, Germany and since then, there was no stopping.
He has won a bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a silver medal in the 2014 edition, where apart from his table tennis skills, the world saw his gallant celebrations as he jumped in joy on the table.
The silver at the 2014 edition of the Commonwealth Games meant a lot to the two-time Indian National Champion who hails from the southern city of Chennai in India. An extremly hard working man, Amalraj is passionate about the game, and has won all possible table tennis titles that are offered in India.
A world tour title was always a dream, which he achieved. This win at the Chile Open has certainly instilled a new found confidence in this very humble paddler. “I want to work harder and play better for India,” he said as he now eyes the Brazil Open.
Placed in the main draw, Amalraj will open his campaign on 5th May 2017 with the men’s singles round of 16. Winning brings in a lot of confidence and that is evident if you speak to him.
“I want to play better in Brazil and win a medal here too.I want to continue my form.”- Amalraj Anthony
The Indian hero is on a mission, and in Brazil there will be some good competition as the likes of Hugo Claderano, Patrick Baum, Cazuo Matsumoto, amongst many, will be present.
If the stars shine bright, and Amalraj continues his form, we might see another “jump on the table” performance from the Indian.