History of Tamilnadu Table Tennis
When we approached the legendary G. Jagannath on how the game of table tennis have evolved from the olden days to the present scenario. He was so happy to share the phases of the Table Tennis scene in Tamilnadu with defence techniques in playing and how coaching centres changed the face of the game In the 1950s, it took ‘elbow power' to play table tennis in Madras. The social club offering just one table, a bunch of players waited eagerly for their turn and on the completion of a game the waiting ones rush to occupy the table. In those days the Defence was the key to win matches. As and when the changes in the game paved way to the attack which is an aggressive mode of play. In the late 50’s he happily recalls about the sand paper bat which he used to play with the roughened bat. In the 60’s he got introduced to the sandwich bats. The 50’s saw the emergence of stalwarts Shivaram, Panchapakesan and Thiruvengadam to name a few.
The 60’s belong to V. Ramachandran, N.C. Raghavan, V.C. Murugesh, S. Baradhan. A. George, K.R. Pillay, G. Ranganayakulu, and K. Ashok who shouldered the TT flag of Tamilnadu. There were positive changes in the mid-1970s, when V. Ramachandran — who was India number two in the early 1960s — established Madras' first coaching academy at Santhome High School; he was followed immediately by Senapathi who set up MSR Academy at Adyar. These academies slowly changed the way table tennis was played in Madras.
The 1970’s belong to the Anti Spin rubber and same colour rubber which got changed to different colour rubbers in a later stage. With the sound heritage on TT Tamilnadu he fondly recalls the stylish and smart national champion V. Chandrasekhar was hardly troubled by the anti spin rubber or the players of his genre until the fault in the surgery put a halt to his achievements. After briefing the evolution and growth of Table Tennis in Tamil nadu Jagannath gives an important piece of advice to the upcoming players. With a focussed one track mind, a combination of Passion and motivation will take the talented ones to reach higher levels. After Jagannath winning the national title in 1970, Chandrasekar dominated the sports in late70’s and the early 80’s.
The 1990’s opened up the dominance of TN in the national scene with S. Raman , M.S. Mythili, N.R. Indu contributed with multiple national titles to their credit. All the 4 continued their hunger towards success till the early 2000’s which is also marked the entry of Sharath Kamal. 2002 marked the entry for Sharath Kamal to the national championships and he continues to dominate the Indian table tennis till today. Since 2008 for the next 5 years Sharath Kamal and K Shamini duo were dominating the Indian Table tennis.
From the year 2014 TT tradition has been shouldered by Sharath Kamal , Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Antony Amalraj.
BIO G. JAGANNATH Born in 1945, he won the national table tennis championship in 1970 and received the Arjuna Award. He has represented India in six world, three Asian and three Commonwealth championships.