The Table Tennis Federation of India's (TTFI's) quest of getting organised in terms of planning the domestic season received a jolt as it has been forced to postpone the 78th Senior National and Inter-State Championship by more than a week.
After allotting the most prestigious event of the year to Ranchi in Jharkhand, the TTFI had well in advance announced the tournament dates from January 9 to 14, 2018. However, only last week did the Jharkhand Table Tennis Association (JTTA) requested the TTFI to reschedule the tournament owing to an unavoidable situation.
“The state government's skill development programme has been planned in the same week as the Nationals and the stadium (venue of the Nationals) is going to be occupied by the government on two of the six days' planned for the tournament, so we had no choice but to request the TTFI to postpone the Nationals,” J.K. Sinha, the organising secretary, told Sportstar from Ranchi on Friday.
The TTFI in such a case had no choice but to defer the tournament by almost ten days. According to M.P. Singh, secretary general of the national body, the Nationals will now be played at the same venue from January 25 to 30.
Singh stressed that the rescheduling will not affect in terms of participation of top players. “This is the first time in the last three years that a tournament has had to be postponed; that too due to reasons completely out of our hands. Without the government support, it's difficult to a sport like table tennis to thrive,” Singh said.
“Rescheduling will not be that big an issue since there is no international tournament lined up in the revised week, so all the top players will definitely feature in the Nationals, which is what the TTFI has been striving for.”
Interestingly, a top player from western India is scheduled to get engaged with his girlfriend, also a player of repute from the southern part, on January 25. Thanks to the TTFI being put in a tight spot, the duo it seems will have no choice but to reschedule the engagement.
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