All India Inter-Institutional Cup: Petroleum readies for annual ritual

Though National champion Sharath Kamal will miss the three-day team event – but will be back for the individual competition – Petroleum will be more than a handful for its nearest challenger – AAI, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or Railways.

Fresh from the Ultimate Table Tennis League, the quartet of G. Sathiyan, Soumyajit Ghosh, Harmeet Desai and A. Amalraj will be joined by Subhajit Saha in the Petroleum squad.   -  M Vedhan

With the creamy layer of country’s table tennis at its service, Petroleum will once again look to complete an annual ritual of keeping the Inter-Institutional table tennis team titles, once the action commences here on Tuesday.
 

The event, originally allotted to Manipal, near Udupi in Karnataka, was shifted here due to paucity of suitable accommodation at the remote venue. On the rebound, the Capital-based Table Tennis Foundation (TTF) opted to host the premier event.
 

In the absence of any noteworthy challenge in this LPS Bossard-sponsored 47th edition of the event at the Sant Sujan Singhji International School here, Petroleum men will be eyeing the team title for the 24th year in succession. Similarly, the ladies from Petroleum start as favourites for the 23rd time, on the trot.
 

With the finalist enjoying direct seeding to the next National championship, the point of interest shifts to the race for the runner-up spot, in both sections.
Unlike in the past, Railways has ceased to be the second best team in the competition. Airport Authority of India (AAI) players have shown more consistency and no wonder, they finished runner-up in both sections last year in Jaipur.
 

Though National champion Sharath Kamal will miss the three-day team event – but will be back for the individual competition – Petroleum will be more than a handful for its nearest challenger – AAI, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or Railways.
 

Fresh from the Ultimate Table Tennis League, the quartet of G. Sathiyan, Soumyajit Ghosh, Harmeet Desai and A. Amalraj will be joined by Subhajit Saha in the Petroleum squad.
 

Among the ladies, Petroleum’s nearest challenger could be either AAI, RBI, Air India or Railways. National champion Madhurika Patkar, Manika Batra, Pooja Sahasrabudhe, Archana Kamath and Poulomi Ghatak make Petroleum too strong for the rest.
 

In the youth sections, with only four teams in girls, and three in boys, the winners will be decided on a league format.
 

The groups:


Men: Group ‘A’: Petroleum, Food Corporation and Ordnance Factory; Group ‘B’: Airport Authority, LIC and Electricity Board; Group ‘C’: Reserve Bank, Employees State Insurance, and Ministry of Communications & Information Technology; Group ‘D’: Railways, Defence Accounts and Atomic Energy.
 

Women: Group ‘A’: Petroleum, MC & IT, and Indian Audit;  Group ‘B’: AAI, LIC and Food Corporation; Group ‘C’: RBI, Central Revenue, ESIC; Group ‘D’: Air India, Railways, Defence Accounts and BSNL.