National champion Sharath Kamal is confident of the Indian men retaining their spot in the Championship Division of the World team table tennis, beginning in Holmstad, Sweden, from April 29.

Speaking to Sportstar , before the squad’s departure here on Wednesday, Sharath said, “After our best-ever performance in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (CWG), recently, the confidence of the team members is high. We will be playing in the Championship division for the first time and I am certain the men’s team will retain its place among the elite.”

In the championship division, men and women teams are divided into four groups of six teams each. Indian men, ranked 13th, are in Group ‘D’, with France (fourth), Korea (fifth), Austria (11th), Croatia (20th) and Poland (22nd).

READ: In-form Indian paddlers leave for World C’ships

In comparison, the 16th-ranked Indian women team faces a tougher task to avoid relegation. India is placed in Group ‘A’ with favourite China (first), Singapore (eighth), Russia (ninth), Belarus (18th) and Sweden (24th).

“France and Korea will be tough to match. We can beat this young Poland team. Even Croatia, despite World No. 39, Andrej Gacina, is beatable. Against Austria, which has World No. 45 Stefan Fegerl, my teammate in the last UTT league, it’ll be a battle of equals,” admitted Sharath.

The team:

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

Women: Manika Batra, Mouma Das, Madhurika Patkar, Pooja Sahasrabudhe and Sutirtha Mukherjee.

Coaches: Massimo Costantini and Arup Basak.