September 19, Indian Sports Wrap: National Games to kick-off with table-tennis

September 20, 2022, Surat

Table TennisNational Games


Table tennis will be the first discipline to get off the blocks in the 36th National Games at the Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay Indoor Stadium in Surat on Tuesday with the official inauguration of the Games happening in Ahmedabad a week later on September 27.

The dates had to be advanced as the World table tennis championships begin in Chengdu (China) on Sept. 30 and the Indian paddlers who are part of the National team have to leave the country on Sept. 25/26.

As far as the Games competition goes, Gujarat men and Maharashtra women will be the favourites to win the titles.

In its ranks, the host has Harmeet Desai, Manush Shah and Manav Thakkar, who are (domestic) ranked No. 3, 4 & 5 in the country, and will be expected to bag the gold.

The team has had a 10-day camp at the Tapti Valley International School here. “We are excited to represent Gujarat in our home state, and this is the first time we are all (referring to Manush & Manav) playing together in the Games. We have to play well to justify our top seeding,” said Harmeet, who was part of the Indian team that won the Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham recently.

The Maharashtra women’s team appear quite strong with Reeth Rishya, Swastika Ghosh, Diya Chitale, Anannya Basak and Shruti Amrute. Bengal will challenge Maharashtra as it has the veteran and five-time National champion Mouma Das, Ayhika Mukherjee, Prapti Sen, Suthirtha Mukherjee, and Takeme Sarkar. Incidentally, Mouma was also a member of the Bengal team when it won silver in 2015, the last time the Games was held in Kerala.

The top eight teams from the last Shillong National championships in Shillong will be eligible to part in the National Games. India’s top stars including A. Sharath Kamal, G. Sathiyan and Manika Batra are expected to arrive in the city in a day or two to compete in the individual events.

Men: Group A:
Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana, Telangana; B: Maharashtra, West Bengal, UP, Karnataka.
Women: Group A: Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat & Haryana; B: West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & UP.
(K. Keerthivasan)

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