Table Tennis: Indian men’s and women’s team will be looking to create history

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Indian men’s and women’s table tennis team PC- twitter/ @sathiyantt

Indian men’s and women’s team will start their campaign at World Team Olympic qualification tournament for Tokyo Olympics. Indian men’s team is seeded 5th while women’s team is 17th. A total eight quota places are up for grabs, which means Indian team needs to reach quarterfinal.

International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) announced the draws on Tuesday. If we look at the draws then the Indian men’s team have relatively easier than the women’s team. Indian men’s team will take on 32nd seeded Luxembourg in the first round. Indian women team will clash against 16th seed Sweden.

The Indian men’s team is spearheaded by Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Achanta Sharath Kamal. In round of 32 if they wins over Luxembourg then in the round of 16 they will meet the winners between Iran and Slovenia. If they make it to quarters that will book them a ticket to Tokyo 2020.

In women’s team qualification, Indian women’s team will face stiff challenge to reach quarterfinal. In round of 32 they will take on 16th seeds Sweden. If they win this then they will face either Romania or Italy in round of 16. A quarterfinal finish for any team means Olympic quota.

Both teams were training in Germany and will be hoping for a good show at the qualifiers. For men’s team it will be relatively easier to reach quarterfinal than women’s team. Indian team has never qualified for Olympics. This is perfect opportunity for men’s team specially. In last few years Indian men’s team has performed brilliantly and they were ranked eighth in world, which is their best rank ever.

In men’s team we have Manav Thakkar, who is top ranked in U-23 rankings. While we have experienced Sarath Kamal and ranked 32 in world Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in men’s team.

In women’s team we have Manika Batra, who is ranked 61 in world and young Archana Girish Kamath. In these tournaments, no match is easy and our women’s team is ready for the challenge ahead.

Indian Squad

Men’s: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Achanta Sharath Kamal, Manav Vikas Thakkar, Harmeet Desai, Anthony Amalraj

Women’s: Manika Batra, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Ayhika Mukherjee, Madhurika Patkar, Archana Girish Kamath

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