An eight-member team has left for Hong Kong to participate in the Asian Olympic Qualification event to be held between April 13-17, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) said on Monday.
The team is led by ace Indian paddler, Achanta Sharath Kamal, who is currently placed at No.61. The other men’s team members are Soumyajit Ghosh, Anthony Amalraj, and Harmeet Desai. The women’s squad consists of Manika Batra, Mouma Das, K. Shamini and Pooja Sahasrabuddhe.
Bhawani Mukherjee and Arup Basak will be the two coaches accompanying the team for the five-day event, according to a TTFI release.
The Indian team members, after the world championships appearance in Kuala Lumpur in February-March, had been participating in different leagues abroad and training specifically at their base. According to coach Bhawani, all players are in match-fit condition and in a better frame of mind.
As per the Olympic qualification norms, only two men and two women per country can make the cut. All the eight players will be first competing in the South Asian region qualification, which is Stage 1 of the event.
The South Asian region countries comprise Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, and India. India are assured of two Olympic berths (one man and one woman) from this event.
But for the other two berths (one man and one woman) the next opportunity for the rest of the squad members comes from Stage 2 which is the Asian Qualifiers.