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Dreaming of Stardom, for Now Promotion, the Priority: Kanak Jha – Photo by Rémy Gros

Dreaming of Stardom, for Now Promotion, the Priority

Dreaming of Stardom, for Now Promotion, the Priority
2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships
Courtesy of ITTF

Only 15 years old, yet Kanak Jha is very much the player to whom the United States looks to lead them in their quest to gain promotion from Men’s Division Three at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A debut two years ago in Tokyo, he may only be in his mid-teens but he is a young man with a wealth of experience; to date he has suffered just one defeat, that being in his opening contest on Sunday February 28th against Luka Mladenovic, when the United States suffered a three-nil defeat.

Top of Group
Otherwise, it has been success; at the close of play on Tuesday March 1st, the United States alongside Scotland led the group with seven points each.

On the second and third days of action the Kanak Jha record is unblemished.

Impressive and most certainly the young American is most positive.

“I still believe in my dreams of being amongst the top ranked player in the world; at present I am among the top 20 junior players in the world, which I think is good for my career”, said Kanak Jha.

Presently on the Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings, he is listed at no.17.

Moved to Sweden
Notably Kanak Jha moved to Sweden in 2015 to join Halmstad BTK in the Swedish League; a move that would seem to have proved beneficial.

“I moved to Sweden last August and since getting there, I think my game has improved tremendously; particularly playing alongside some of the top players like Egypt’s Omar Assar and Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson”, added Kanak Jha. “I first visited Halmstad for two weeks and after seeing things for myself, I fell in love with the club and I decided to join them.”

A brave move; it is one which reflects the teenager’s dedication.

“I must admit that apart from meeting many people, I have been able to travel the world through playing the game”, continued Kanak Jha. “For now, table tennis is what I think about every day and it is my life now.”

A Sacrifice
Dedicated and of course there are sacrifices.

“I must say that it has not been easy been away from my mum but we communicate regularly and I have been home three times since moving to Sweden”, explained Kanak Jha whose career has been guided from the very start by Stefan Feth; a young man who in 1997 lined up alongside Timo Boll in the German outfit that won the Cadet Boys’ Team title at the European Youth Championships.

Maintains Contact
“Despite moving to Sweden, I still maintain relationship with my coach; he has been coaching me since I started playing the game”, said Kanak Jha. “He is now the American Men’s Team coach and we still communicate regularly as well, my coach is surely still part of me.”

Long term ambitions but for Kanak Jha there is an immediate goal.

“I think we can make it to the Second Division because we are playing well”, he concluded. “This is our mission and target in Malaysia and I am hoping that we can achieve it.”

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