by LINDA FRABL | photos by Spark Photography

Table Tennis Champ

For many of us, table tennis is simply a lighthearted game we play on those occasions when we stumble upon a ping pong table. For 15-year-old Sohan Kandadi, however, table tennis is his number one passion. He holds numerous championship titles in the sport. This sophomore at
Del Norte High School is the California State Games Junior Boys Gold Medalist for 2014 and 2015, and he is the 2014 North American Team Division 3 Champion. He also holds the gold medal for open doubles in the state of California.

Sohan was first exposed to table tennis while living in India, where he resided from the age of 10 to 13. He recalled, “My mom introduced me to table tennis at a country club rec room in India, and I originally thought it was kind of boring. But after a while, I got better and better at it, and then I really started to like it!”

student_2Fortunately the incredible training Sohan has received in the past five years has greatly improved his skill level and approach to the game. Sohan explained, “I used to get emotional and angry during matches, but my coach has helped me to stay focused on my strategy and not on the end result. Now I am a relatively quiet player and I don’t show much emotion. Being calm enables me to think clearly and adjust my game plan as needed.”

In order to maintain his level of success, Sohan trains three times a week for an hour and a half. He also follows a rigorous fitness routine, including weight lifting and running, to sustain the stamina needed for all of his tournaments. But even with all of his efforts going toward table tennis, Sohan still manages to dabble in other extracurricular activities. He professed, “I have a versatile nature, so I also do soccer, badminton, basketball, chess, taekwondo, and acoustic guitar in my spare time.”

His spare time is limited, though. When he does have some breathing room, Sohan enjoys “chilling with my friends” while playing video games and dining at either Mexican or Chinese food establishments. He also loves hanging out with his family, including his younger sister and his pet Maltese poodle. Sohan proudly exclaimed, “My family always inspires and encourages me.” Spoken like a true champ.

Name: Sohan Kandadi (15)
School: Del Norte High School
Grade: 10
Parents: Keerthi and Srinivas Kandadi
Sibling: Anviti (11)
Favorite Places in 92127: Anywhere hanging out with my friends