Good Sports: YOUNG OLYMPIAN
“What did you do this summer?”
Students often hear that question when they return to school in the fall. Only a few can give an answer as impressive as Kanak Jha’s: “I competed in Rio.”
A 16-year-old junior at Milpitas High School in California, Kanak represented the United States in table tennis at the Summer Games. Though he lost in the first round to Iran’s Nima Alamian, Kanak made history by becoming the youngest male to ever compete in table tennis at the Olympics. He also became the first U.S. Olympian to be born in this millennium.
Ranked No. 272 in the world, Kanak has been playing table tennis since age 5 and won his first national title in his age group when he was 10.
He qualified for Rio in April by winning the North American Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Ontario, Canada.
“It feels amazing to qualify,” he told India-West. “It has been my dream my whole career and I am just excited to compete in Rio.”
Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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