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Sharath, Manika to lead Indian challenge at World TT Championships

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Mumbai, Nov 21 (IANS) Nine players including Achanta Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, and Manika Batra comprise the Indian contingent at the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals to be held in Houston, USA, from Tuesday (November 23).

Sharath, Sathiyan, and Manika have recently done well in the last few months competing in the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender series, especially in the team competition, winning medals in doubles and mixed doubles.

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The other players that are part of the Indian contingent for the tournament that will end on November 29 include Anthony Amalraj, Archana Girish Kamath, Ayhika Mukherjee, Harmeet Desai, Madhurika Patkar, and Sutirtha Mukherjee.

Sharath, who recently moved up two places to 30 in the men’s singles rankings is the highest-ranked Indian in ITTF list, and Manika have won the mixed doubles title, just like Manika and Sathiyan in the WTT Contender event in Hungary in September while Manika and Archana won the women’s doubles title in the WTT Contender event in Slovenia. SAthiyan is ranked 37th in the world, and is the second best Indian in the fray.

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The contingent comprises four of the top Indian players in men’s singles excluding Manav Thakkar. Indians will be expecting to put up their best in the men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles. Manika will be India’s top hope in women’s singles.

India has won two medals in the World Table Tennis Championships — both bronze — in 1926 editions with bronze SRG Suppiah finishing third in the men’s singles and the men’s team comprising Athar Ali Fyzee, Hassan Ali Fyzee, A.M Peermohamed, B.G Singh, and Suppiah finishing third.

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Houston will not be hosting the team competitions as they have been separated from the individual competitions since 2001.

–IANS

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