Kanak Jha: Ping Pong/Table Tennis Player Profile

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Kanak Jha is a 21-year-old ping pong/table tennis player for the United States Men’s National Team.

Kanak, who was born in Milpitas, California, began playing table tennis at the age of five. His parents introduced him to the sport for the first time. They would occasionally go to a leisure facility to play, and Kanak would stand on the sidelines and watch. It wasn’t long before he decided he wanted to give it a shot himself. 

Prachi Jha, his older sister, also played for the US National Team, but at a far higher level. Kanak continued to play table tennis since he grew up in a household of table tennis players, and his abilities improved quickly. Kanak Jha began participating in international competitions at the age of 12 just 7 years later when he discovered how much talent he has.

But, with a scarcity of world-class training resources and mounting expenditures, he and his family realised that dramatic change was required if he was to achieve the top level. Soon after, he moved to Sweden with his elder sister. He got to practise at Halmstad Bordtennisklubb and learn from some of the world’s best players and coaches.

Kanak has had the opportunity to play against a variety of different styles while at the Swedish club, as well as with other table tennis pros from various nations. Training sessions lasted 5-6 hours and were held six days a week. A demanding schedule!

It was profitable for him. Kanak won the North American Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2016, which was a remarkable moment in his early career. Kanak knew the stakes were high on the third and final day of the competition. The victor not only guaranteed a berth in the Rio 2016 Olympics for themselves, but also for their squad and a teammate. Kanak faded after a 2-2 tie in a close game, dropping 5 points in a row. During the break, he collected himself and resolved to be more consistent for the rest of the game. The game was won 11-5 in the fifth quarter thanks to an 11-point outburst. Kanak stated of the match, “It was one of my finest ever bouts.”

As a result, Jha was the youngest member of the United States National Team to compete in Rio. That is a great accomplishment. He was beaten in the preliminary round by Nima Alamian of Iran. Following this defeat, Kanak transferred once more, this time to Grenzau, Germany, at the suggestion of his coach Stefan Fath. He played for TTC Zugbruecke Grenzau, one of the leading clubs in the Bundesliga, in this city.

Kanak commented on the move, saying, “Sometimes it can get extremely hard when you’re gone for a long period and you’re training so much and there’s more stress.” But, in the end, he knew it was the correct option. Kanak could focus entirely on table tennis in the remote village of Grenzau since there were no interruptions. He ended up playing for a number of different Bundesliga teams before landing at TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen. Simon Gauzy, a French international player, is a key member of this squad.

Kanak Jha returned to California to train in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. For the first time, the establishment of the 888 Table Tennis Centre allowed him to spend time with his family while still efficiently training. Many excellent professionals rushed to the vacancy, and Kanak, who had served as the centre’s coach for the previous two years, felt it was a fantastic chance. 

He does, however, intend to return to Germany next season to compete in the Bundesliga once more. Although the 888 Table Tennis Centre is a fantastic place for him to train when he visits his family in the United States, it just lacks the depth of skill required to become the greatest in the world.

Kanak Jha Achievements

Google search is filled with searches like “Kanak Jha age”, for the fact that he doesn’t seem big enough to have so many achievements. But well, Kanak Jha, who is only 21 years old and is now rated 30th in the world, is one of the most promising young players. 

Kanak’s potential is especially fascinating because he is from the United States, a country not well-known for its table tennis prowess. In fact, the next top player in the United States is Nikhil Kumar, who is rated 168th in the world. This demonstrates why it was critical for Kanak to relocate in search of more intense competition.

Jha’s most significant achievement is his bronze medal at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. This meant that he was not just the youngest US player in the Rio Olympics two years before, but also the first American male to win an Olympic medal. This was not simply a watershed moment in his career, but also a long-awaited achievement for the United States. Kanak won another crucial match the next year, defeating India’s Manav Vikash. With the win, he climbed two spots in the under-18 rankings, giving him the world’s number one under-18 player.

Kanak established another US record a year later when he won his fourth consecutive Men’s Singles championship at the US National Table Tennis Championships. Sean O’Neill was the proud owner of this record before winning it, with three straight wins dating back to 1989. Given Kanak’s momentum and continuing top-level performance, he is expected to win many more US National titles in the future. However, his record is now limited to four straight victories when he chose not to compete in the US National Championships in 2021. Instead, he’s concentrating on the Olympics in Tokyo.

Jha also won additional medals in the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima. He won bronze in the mixed doubles and singles events, as well as gold in the team event, in this competition. In the singles, he was defeated by Jiaji Wu, who is now ranked 288 in the world. This must have caused quite a stir at the time. Hugo Calderano, on the other hand, received the gold medal. If Kanak had defeated Jiaji, he would have faced a formidable opponent. Despite extensive training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Kanak was unsuccessful, losing in the preliminary rounds of the singles against Kirill Skachkov 4-2, and was knocked out of the team event by Sweden in the first round. While this must have been a difficult pill for Kanak to swallow after all of his preparation, the event was not without a minor win. Kanak defeated Mattis Falck 3-1 in the USA’s lone team event victory over Sweden; a big victory that demonstrates his ability to compete with the greatest players in the world.

Kanak Jha Equipment

Kanak has an entire Butterfly setup. On both his forehand and backhand, he employs the immensely popular Tenergy 05. He also used the Timo Boll ALC as his blade. You can check more at Kanak Jha Wiki for the latest updates. 

Here are some facts about your favourite ping pong player: 

Kanak Jha Age: 21 Years

Kanak Jha Ranking: ITTF 28

Kanak Jha Ethnicity: Kanak Jha is an American ping pong/table tennis player of Indian origin.

Kanak Jha Parents: Arun Jha, Karuna Jain

Kanak Jha Height: 1.66 m

Current teams: The United States, United States of America


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