Games` TT test event to commence tomorrow

New Delhi: Indian paddlers, led by Olympian Achanta Sharath Kamal, will try to get a hang of the venue as Pro Tour India Open Table Tennis Championship -- a test event for the Commonwealth Games.

The USD 100,000 event will be played at the state-of-the-art Yamuna Sports Complex and the players would look not only to exploit the home conditions but also gather vital information for their preparations for the October 3-14 sporting extravaganza.

Sharath, whose ranking plummeted 91 after a huge loss of 21 positions, would look to regain form and score some vital points.

Besides Sharath, Indian men`s line-up consists of former national champion Subhajit Saha, Sourav Chakraborty and Soumyadeep Roy.

The event will see players from 13 countries including Pakistan, Chinese Taipei, Germany and Russia, competing.

Reigning woman national champion Poulomi Ghatak and her doubles partner Mouma Das are coming into the championship after a good show at the recent World Championships in Moscow and would pose a good challenge for their rivlas.

For Kumaresan Shamini, who lost the tag of country`s numero uno player to Poulomi, the event provides a good opportunity to reassess her game.

The Indian paddlers have already undergone a week-long training camp at the venue under the watchful eyes of national coach Massimo Constantini of Italy and Bhawani Mukherjee, who is chief SAI coach.

"The camp was very fruitful and all the players are also in good condition. We are expecting some good performance in the tournament," Mukherjee told reporters.

Also, there will be young paddlers like G Sathiyan, Aman Balgu and Soumi Mondal who have the ability to pull off upsets.

The top 16 players in the men`s and women`s section will be directly placed in the main draw and the remaining 16 spots will be up for grabs at the qualifying events.

"There will be eight competition tables for the tournament and 10 international umpires from abroad to conduct the event", Dhanraj Choudhary, Secretary General of Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) said.

Competition Manager Didier Leroy of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) said, "I`m happy to be in India for the event. As countries like Japan, Korea are participating we expect good competition. Moreover, prize money is also high."

The tournament will be inaugurated tomorrow by Chief Minister Sheila Dixit.


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