During a non-ranking table tennis tournament organised by Sportstar and the Mylapore Club five years ago in Chennai, a young boy — barely the height of the table — grabbed the audience’s attention.

Vishruth Ramakrishnan, just four years old then, was rallying with his coach and hardly missing a step. He had taken to the sport at his playschool, even before he started kindergarten! Last season, he won nine tournaments at the under-10 level and is a State champion.

Vishruth’s development is not a one-off thing but part of a conscious movement to start players young, A. Muralidhara Rao, one of the country’s top coaches, said on Monday during a webinar organised by the Sports Authority of India and the Table Tennis Federation of India.

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