In-form Indian paddlers leave for World C’ships

The Indian table tennis team is eager to back its Commonwealth Games success with a strong showing in the World Championships.

The Indian men’s team will be led by Sharath Kamal.   -  Special Arrangement

After tasting unprecedented success at the Commonwealth Games, the Indian table tennis team left in two batches for the World Championships, which will be held in Halmstad, Sweden from April 29 to May 6.

The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has retained the same team as the one that competed in the Gold Coast Games. The team, led by Sharath Kamal, will train at Varberg from Thursday until the competition begins on April 29.

Read - Sathiyan: India stands a good chance in World C'ships

Sharath said both teams will try to live up to their rankings. He said, “Our men’s team is ranked 10th and women 14th. We also know the expectations have soared after our Commonwealth Games success. But the Worlds are a different ball game. Yet, we will give our best and I would be happy if we try to reach a top-12 spot. Anything else, we will consider as a bonus.”

'Good touch'

Manika Batra, who was a part of the first batch that left on Tuesday, was confident of performing well. She said, “I am in good touch and our team spirit is really good after what we did at Gold Coast. But Commonwealth Games is past and we have to live in the present. The World Championships will give us a kind of experience that will help us all in the future.”

Coach Massimo Costantini was also upbeat about India’s chances but focussed his attention on the job at hand. He said, “Most importantly, they (the teams) have to maintain their rankings. The top fields will be on view in Sweden and the players are aware of the job at hand.”

Team

 

Men: A. Sharath Kamal, G. Sathiyan, A. Amalraj, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty.

Women: Manika Batra, Mouma Das, Madhurika Patkar, Pooja Sahasrabuddhe and Suthirta Mukherjee. Coaches: Massimo Costantini and Arup Basak.