Sharath to lead Indian TT squad at Tokyo Worlds

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 11, 2014 11:30 hrs

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) Taking the recent form of players as the yardstick, the Indian TT selection committee has picked a five-member men's team comprising Sharath Kamal (World No.54), Soumyajit Ghosh (117), Harmeet Desai (143), Anthony Amalraj (163) and Sanil Shetty (227) for the World Table Tennis championships to be held at Tokyo from April 28 to May 5.

There are 120 teams in men's and 110 in women's sections competing at the worlds.

The selection committee, comprising foreign coach Peter Engel, national coach Bhawani Mukherji, Kamlesh Mehta, Indu Puri and government observer Manjit Dua, met here Sunday, along with chairman P.C. Chaturvedi and convener D.R. Choudhary to finalise the team.

The committee also chose a five-member ladies team consisting of Manika Batra (ranked 148), Shamini Kumaresan (172), Ankita Das (182), Madhurika Patkar (217) and Pooja Sahasrabudhe (321).

The men's team will aim to better the 27th place it achieved in the previous edition at Dortmund in 2012. India, assured of a place in the second division of the championship, could well get a berth in the 24-nation Championship Division when the present world ranking is considered to confirm four countries at the time of the draw. Presently, India are ranked 21st in both sections.

The world ranking of a country is based on the individual rankings of its top-three players. India's best performance in the men's World Championship was recorded in Gothenburg where it finished 12th in 1985.

All the team members, barring Sharath, will assemble at Patiala for the final preparatory camp beginning April 10. With the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games also a few months away, the two coaches expect a good performance from the paddlers. "A good display at Tokyo will help the team do well at Glasgow," said Engel. He also said that India stood a very good chance at Glasgow, despite the presence of formidable Singapore and England.

Earlier, the TTFI's Annual General Body Meeting re-confirmed the allotment of this season's National championships to Puducherry (senior), Alleppey (youth and junior) while Andhra Pradesh (venue to be decided) the sub-junior and cadet events. The season-opener, Institutional championships, has been allotted to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) which will host the event in August.

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