Paddlers leave for World TT Championships

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Veteran paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal will spearhead the Indian challenge at the World Table Tennis Championships which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from February 28 to May 6.

A 10-member Indian squad, comprising five men and five women, will represent India at the tournament. The team left for the Malaysian capital on Thursday.

This world event is only for team events and in the previous edition at Tokyo (Japan), the Indian men’s team had finished 33rd while the women’s squad had captured the 29th position.

The team members arrived in the capital from Patiala on Thursday morning after a 15-day national camp at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports. The players had been training together at Patiala for more than a month and in between participated in the South Asian Games at Shillong where they swept all the gold medals on offer, besides a handful of silver medals.

However, Sharath, who skipped the Shillong event, had been training all by himself in Germany before joining the campers at Patiala for a brief period. Sharath, who has regained fitness after having come out of an injury spell, sounded optimistic of a good showing at the World Championships.

“I am feeling fine and having a nice rhythm going. Our aim at the worlds would be to reach the Champions Division and look ahead from there,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

The coaches, too, echoed his views and hoped for a good performance.

“The members have been training hard and they should fare well,” national coach Bhavani Mukherjee said.

Squad:

Men: Achanta Sharath Kamal, Anthony Amalraj, Soumyajit Ghosh, Harmeet Desai, G. Sathiyan.

Women: Manika Batra, Mouma Das, K. Shamini, Pooja Sahasrabuddhe, Madhurika Patkar.

Coaches: Bhavani Mukherjee, Arup Das.

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