Hyderabad: City paddler S Fidel R Snehit had a good end to the season before the lockdown. The youngster won national title in youth category, pocketed gold at the Khelo India Youth Games, won a team bronze at the senior nationals held in city and went on to achieve his career-best World ranking of 40 in Under-21 category with a semifinal appearance in Oman Open.
The reigning national youth champion is high on confidence. He is eager to get back to training and make his mark in the senior category. The 20-year-old aims to improve his ranking in the world and national levels in senior category. “Yes, I had a very good end to the season. Winning national title in youth and jumping to World No.40 rank in under-21 category boosted my confidence a lot. I have played some good matches. My aim is to do well in seniors to get into Indian teams for Commonwealth and Asian Games. I need to work a lot at the senior level.
Since I didn’t play many tournaments, my ranking is not good. My focus is also on improving my world ranking. I want to be among top 200 in the world and in top 4 in the country. But for that, I need to play more international tournaments,” revealed Snehit.
Speaking about his quarantine period after returning from Oman, he said, “I was not scared to travel from Oman as the situation is not so severe there. I was advised to go into home quarantine. I spent time watching movies and speaking to friends.”
He added that he got a different perspective about life in the lockdown. “We were mostly busy with the game throughout the year. But I got a different perspective on life in the lockdown period. Along with a few friends, we distributed essentials to migrant workers. I cultivated the habit of reading. Got to spend quality time with my family and renewed our friendship with school friends,” he added.
When asked about how he is keeping himself fit in the period, he said, “I work for an hour via zoom sessions in the evenings and yoga at home. I am able to push myself in the fitness sessions since we are not playing the game now. I watch a lot of videos of my previous matches, videos of my rivals and top players to learn finer aspects of the game. We also got a new psychologist at our academy and we had a few sessions on the mental aspect of the game,” added Snehit who has over 25 international medals to his name.
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