New Delhi: A wild, top-of-the-table celebration is set to cost the new table tennis champion A. Amalraj a quarter of his winner's purse, the national federation has said in a statement.
Pitted against six-time national champion Achanta Sharath Kamal in the final of the men's event at the 73rd Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships on Sunday, Amalraj had a difficult job at hand.
The 25-year-old paddler conjured up a special performance though to eke out an 11-8, 11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8 victory before bursting into a bizarre celebration in Lucknow.
Amalraj, hopeful of qualifying for the London Olympics later this year, first leapt on to the table and hurled his bat before pumping his fists like a man possessed. The umpire first showed him the yellow card but Amalraj did not care and went merrily around the court, inviting a red card. He also forgot to shake hands with his opponent until his coach reminded him.
"Now he stands to lose 25 percent of his prize money," the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) said in a statement, adding the competition manager had recommended the fine.
Even though TTFI claimed Amalraj was penitent, the paddler did not sound so. "I don't mind losing a portion of the money," said the 25-year-old.
"The celebration was not intentional and I did it in excitement," he added. "My national level goal has been achieved and I now want to concentrate on even bigger goals. I am off to Germany to train for the Asian and World Championships," said the Commonwealth doubles gold medalist.