Lockdown Diaries: Bollywood keeps TT star Anthony Amalraj on his toes

The table tennis player has largely focused on keeping fit while also watching multiple Bollywood flicks.

The year had begun very well for Anthony Amalraj.

Winning eight of his nine matches in 2020 and being the only Indian to reach the round of 32 at the Qatar Open, a World Tour Platinum event, in March, helped Indian table tennis star break back into the top-100 ITTF rankings.

Now at home in Chennai due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the TT player has had time to analyse his games among other things. 

The Olympic Channel caught up with him to find out.

When was the last time you were indoors for this long?

Oh, I vividly remember this – it was in 2008 when I was down with jaundice.

We were at a national camp in Patiala after the World Championships in China and I had gone for it despite not being 100 per cent. It only got worse after I returned.

I was stuck at home for a month and a half.

One new skill you learnt/tried out.

So, it's not new per se but since I have been so busy for the past few years, constantly travelling and playing, I have not been able to give much time to video analysis.

So, I have immersed myself in that, reviewing my mistakes and figuring out how I can improve.

What's your diet been like during the shutdown?

Now, this is one thing I have been strict about.

I have completely stayed away from junk food, fizzy drinks and sugar (he later admitted to adding a spoonful once in a while).

Dinner also has mostly been fruit for me in this time, I am a light mover at the table and would like to keep it that way.

Your preferred way to workout at home.

I am lucky to have a small gym at home, so I have been able to continue with a lot of my regular exercises.

I like to do floor exercises and work on my core strength.

How do you relax at home?

I told you, this lockdown has been all about videos for me (laughs).

I am a big movie buff, I used to be one of those people who caught every new movie at the cinema on Fridays.

In the past two months, I must have watched over a hundred movies, mostly Bollywood, on Netflix, Hotstar, and Amazon Prime.

Then this must be a tough choice, but which has been your favourite?

I have been catching up with a lot of movies I missed in the past few years.

As to my favourite (thinks hard)- I’d say Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

Who have you video called the most?

No, not really, I am not a video call person.

Any plans to get back to training now that the restrictions are relaxed?

Actually, I already began that process last week.

There is a club near my home where I go to practice, it is just me and one other hitting partner, so you can say we are still largely isolated (chuckles).

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