Teen star Tarun Mammen is making waves on the squash courts. The 19-year-old won the Karnataka Sate Squash Championship in Bengaluru on Monday.
Eighth seed Tarun proved too good for the unseeded Rohan Ray 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 in the final. He had pulled off a stunning win over top seed Parmeet Singh in the quarterfinals before getting past unseeded Aditya Sriram Ramkumar in the semifinals.
The victory marks a breakthrough for Tarun who has roots in Kerala and is settled in Bengaluru.
“It's my first senior title though I had won the Under-17 and Under-19 titles in the past,” Tarun told Onmanorama over the phone.
Tarun picked up the sport at the age of 11. “I used to play tennis and football before turning my attention to squash. It's been serious business from the age of 13,” said Tarun.
Squash being a demanding sport, Tarun focusses both on improving his game and fitness. “I make it a point to play for one-and-a-half hours in the morning daily. I do hit the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while I opt for gym session or playing the game on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.”
The outbreak of COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown did affect Tarun's daily schedule. “It was tough, but luckily the Bangalore Club opened in June and I could resume my training.”
The first year undergraduate student of St Joseph's College of Commerce, Bengaluru, aims to improve his ranking at the national level. “At present I am ranked 251st in the country. The ranking will get updated in March. My immediate goal is to become a top national-level player.”
Apart from squash, Tarun loves to play football and cricket with his friends. He loves to read autobiographies besides travelling and indulging in outdoor activities. “Sadly COVID has put the brakes on travelling and it's been frustrating at times,” added Tarun.