Paul David Interview

By Rahul Acharya | March 22, 2015, 12 a.m. (ET)

I had seen Paul David many times at the Westchester Table Tennis Center, both as a coach and as a player. I got to know him better after he coached me at the US Nationals in Las Vegas last December. Anyways, this summer I spent two weeks with him at the Westchester Table Tennis Center, where we both helped run the summer camps.

I asked Paul a few questions about table tennis and some other stuff. Enjoy!

Quick facts about Paul David:
Highest rating 2517
Guyanese National Team Member since 1992
Currently at his highest world ranking ever (#562)

Paul David (Guyanese National Team Member since 1992)
Photo: ITTF


1. Tell us how you got started with table tennis. 
I started playing at the YMCA in Guyana.

2. What equipment do you currently use?
Blade: Xiom
Forehand rubber: Sigma 2
Backhand rubber: Joola Rhyzm 375

3. Where do you currently train and how often?
I play at Spin and coach there 5 days a week and once a week at Westchester Table Tennis Center.

4. When did you start coaching?
I have been coaching for over 10 years now. 

5. What do you enjoy more - coaching or playing? Why?
I enjoy both, but more so in coaching especially when I have students that have the drive.

6. There's got to be a story behind "oomba." What is it? (For those of you who don't know Paul, he likes to oomba instead of cho).
Oomba is my own thing. I like to be different.

7. You live in the US, but play team events with the Guyanese team. How does that work?
Playing for Guyana is awesome. For me to play for them still, I have to keep up my 2400+ rating.

8. What is the biggest tournament you've ever competed in?
I have played in the World's, but I think playing in 3 Commonwealth Games is the biggest for me. I had the opportunity to play in front of 20,000 people.

9. What is the most memorable match that you have ever played so far?
At this year's Commonwealth Games in Scotland, I was down 3-0 against Yoshua Shing (Vanuatu) and came back to win 4-3. To win the group, I would say beating David Zhuang 12 years ago, when he was amongst the top 100 men in the world.

10. What was the biggest challenge that you faced as a rising table tennis player, and how did you overcome that?
I came from a poor family and access to the right equipment was difficult. That changed after I came to live in the US. With hard practice, I went from 2200 to 2500 in a year and a half.

11. Who is your favorite international table tennis player? Why?
My favorite player is Jan Ove Waldner, because he drinks beer too! :-)

12. Honors, titles, and awards that you have won in table tennis.
I think getting the Bronze medal in the Singles at the 2012 Caribbean Championships was a good accomplishment for me.

13. Is there one person who has influenced your table tennis career the most?
I've had many coaches, but I think my first coach, Ashton Arthur, helped me a lot.

14. What do you like to do when you are not playing or coaching table tennis?
I like to watch sports. I am a big Giants and Nets fan.