Scaling a brand new excessive after the ‘peak’ of 2018 can be powerful however the Indian desk tennis contingent can be a content material lot if it manages to match its file eight-medal tally of Gold Coast on the Birmingham Commonwealth Video games. India had exceeded expectations in Australia by successful three gold, a few silver and three bronze medals. Half of these medals, together with two gold, got here by way of Manika Batra whose profession graph and recognition sky rocketed thereafter. The 27-year-old from Delhi shocked Olympic medallist Feng Tianwei of Singapore not as soon as however twice within the competitors to safe a person and staff gold for India.
The 35-year-old Singaporean will likely be seeking to settle scores in opposition to Manika in Birmingham. One can anticipate her to return higher ready as effectively for tackling the pimpled rubber that the Indian performs with.
It will likely be a brand new look ladies’s staff this time round with reigning nationwide champion Sreeja Akula, Reeth Rishya and Diya Chitale becoming a member of the 41st-ranked Manika.
India’s best TT participant Sharath Kamal, who will likely be be that includes in his fifth and final Commonwealth Video games, the seasoned G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty type a formidable males’s squad.
The gamers educated in Portugal earlier than transferring to Hungary for competitors forward of the multi-sporting occasion.
Off the desk, it wasn’t the smoothest of construct ups for the desk tennis contingent with three gamers approaching courtroom in opposition to their non choice. Finally, solely Chitale managed to get in on the expense of Archana Kamath, who was imagined to play doubles alongside Manika.
The four-member males’s squad stays unchanged from the final version.
The quartet, a lot richer in expertise, will likely be anticipated to defend their staff title.
Indian males will likely be seeded third behind acquainted rivals England and Nigeria.
“England as a staff are barely stronger than Nigeria. The goal is unquestionably to win gold within the staff in addition to particular person occasion,” mentioned the 40-year-old Sharath who final received a singles gold again in Melbourne 2006.
Nigeria boast of world quantity 12 Aruna Quadri whereas England have a a lot improved Liam Pitchford and veteran Paul Drinkhall who tends to lift his sport in multi-sporting occasions.
Having mentioned that, the Indians will likely be fancying their possibilities in all classes, in opposition to their rivals.
Speaking about India’s speedy progress within the desk tennis world since he made his Video games debut 16 years in the past, Sharath mentioned: “Again then, successful a Commonwealth medal was a giant deal, now we’re anticipated to win. Our medals in Asian Video games for the very first time has additionally contributed massively to how our opponents have a look at us.” Not a gold however India had been in a position to bag as many as 4 medals in blended doubles and doubles in Gold Coast and the same quantity will likely be anticipated this time round.
Sathiyan will likely be a gold medal contender alongside Sharath and Manika in males’s doubles and blended doubles respectively.
Squad: Males: Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty.
Ladies: Manika Batra, Reeth Rishya, Sreeja Akula, Diya Chitale.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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