Table Tennis: Chances of an upset

India has never won a table tennis medal at the Asian Games. But the team is understandably after its performances at the Commonwealth Games and the World Table Tennis Championship earlier this year.

Following the table tennis contingent’s performance at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast earlier this year, where the country medalled in all seven disciplines, and the 13th place finish for the men’s squad at the World Table Tennis Championships in Sweden – the best ever for the country – the Indian camp is understandably upbeat ahead of the Asian Games.

But considering that some of the leading countries in table tennis are from Asia, India’s prospects of a rich haul of medals at Jakarta-Palembang are understandably negligible. In fact, the country is yet to a medal, either in the team or the individual events, at the Asian Games.

However, unlike in the past, there are expectations of India causing an upset. Given the best-of-five format, players like A. Sharath Kamal, G. Sathiyan, A. Amalraj and Manika Batra can be expected to go hard at their higher-ranked rivals. The confidence gained from the past two editions of the Ultimate Table Tennis league could also help these players. Unlike the Commonwealth Games, there is hardly any burden of expectations on the Indians to return with medals. That should bring out some free-flowing displays from some of the paddlers.

 

Teams:

Men: G. Sathiyan, A. Sharath Kamal, A. Anthony, Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar

Women: Manika Batra, Mouma Das, Madhurika Patkar, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee