New Delhi: Manika Batra and Sudhanshu Grover have got a direct entry in the singles event of the World Junior Table Tennis Championships to be held in Moroccan capital Rabat from Dec 1-8.
Manika along with Suthirtha Mukherjee, Reeth Rishya Tennison and Ayhika Mukeerjee will also form the four-member India squad for team event. The team left for Rabat Friday.
The girls’ team, which qualified on the basis of its good performances in recent international events, is seeded 10th while Manika, the highest ranked Indian at 36, has been given a direct entry into the main draw of the singles event. The other girls have to go through the qualifiers to get into the main draw.
Grover has been picked up by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to play in the singles following his excellent performances recently. His title-winning performance at the India Open in Mumbai in October has come as a shot in the arm as his ranking improved by 20 places. Before the Mumbai event he was ranked 96.
Coach Kamlesh Mehta said that the girls are best of the lot in the junior section and have already made their presence felt at the national level, including in the senior section.
Incidentally, the junior worlds are restricted to only top 20 teams of the world and 96 players from each category on the basis of the ITTF rankings. India hosted the last edition at Hyderabad in December 2012.