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Surat all decked up as table tennis action set to kick off 36th National Games frenzy

Surat, Sep 17 (IANS) Some of the country’s top shuttlers will be seen in action here from September 20 to 24, with Tamil Nadu’s Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan G. and Delhi’s Manika Batra leading the star parade, at the 36th National Games.

The table tennis will begin nine days before the official start on September 29 with the Opening Ceremony.

Gujarat’s fans are even more excited as their own stars, Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar will lead their state’s challenge. The duo joined the squad on Friday after completing their international commitments and are raring to go.

They will get ample home support to boost the chances of the home team and are hoping to bag at least 3-4 medals from TT. Their haul will help Gujarat begin on a positive note to be on course for their dream of finishing in the Top Five.

“I am thrilled to be back home and am really looking forward to the Games. I have twice played at the Indoor Stadium and have always done well. I have great memories of this venue and I hope it proves to be third time lucky for me,” India No.3 Harmeet Desai said.

For Thakkar, this will be the first time playing a major event in front of his home crowd.

“I started my TT journey from a small room at Sufaiz academy. It’s a dream to be representing my state team at such a prestigious event. I will give my best and will try to make my city proud,” the 22-year-old former World Under-21 champion said.

Director of competition, Kushal Sangtani informed that players from other states have started coming in and have been put up in the best hotels in the city.

“From the 19th, the players will be allowed to practice at the event venue to help them acclimatise to the conditions.”

–IANS

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