By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chair
Twin brothers from India are helping drive the University of Toledo Rockets Table Tennis team.
The 20-year-olds from Mumbai are both studying mechanical engineering when they are not pounding Double Fish table tennis balls at the Ohio school.
Players at schools across the USA and Canada should see the pair of identical twins at the NCTTA’s 2018 championship games in Round Rock, Texas. Catch the Thorats in action April 20-22 in the Lone Star State.
It’s hard to overstate the value of Chaitanya Thorat and Nachiket Thorat to the awesome Toledo team this season. After all, the brothers from India helped Toledo defeat heavyweight rival Ohio State in the NCTTA’s Fall and Spring Divisional tournaments.
The Thorats are proud to say the Toledo Rockets clinched the university’s first table tennis title in the Ohio West Division this season. The Buckeyes of OSU are a huge in-state rival. Toledo finished as the runner-up the previous season during the divisional matches. The Ohio State team from Columbus was No. 1 in the division a year ago.
The Thorat brothers not only look alike. With paddles in hand, they both speak the common international language of table tennis. They are passionate about the lively Olympic sport.
“We love the adrenaline and playing under pressure,’’ says Nachiket Thorat. “For us, table tennis is like a game of chess. We have to plan our next move in order to win.’’
Playing singles or team events at school, the Thorat brothers quickly joined Toledo’s “A’’ team last season. They first learned there was an NCTTA team on the Toledo campus by talking to two guys playing at the dorm recreation center. One thing led to another, and they signed up.
For the twin brothers born on October 2, it wasn’t a case of them being table tennis rookies when they became Toledo undergraduates. They began playing in the fifth grade and kept going until they were 10th graders.
The Thorat brothers picked up the sport again at Toledo, a growing university enrolling 16,247 undergraduates as well as professional students at the Toledo Medical Center.
In NCAA Division 1 sports, the Toledo Rockets compete in the Mid-American Conference and its teams do quite well. The Toledo Rockets women’s soccer team coached by T.J. Buchholz recently finished this past season as the reigning Mid-American women’s soccer champs. Toledo competes against Midwest schools like Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green and Dayton.
The brothers are helping put table tennis on the map on the Toledo campus.
So who’s better at table tennis? Chaitanya or Nachiket?
When the twin brothers clash, the matches are always close. But usually Nachiket wins.
Competing against one another is fun, but they really enjoy taking part in team events. “We are playing for our teammates, too,’’ Nachiket says.
The 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Round Rock CVB and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams. The event is sponsored by iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About USA Table Tennis
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org