The Indian men’s TT team is in Chennai preparing for the upcoming World Olympic Qualification Event in Portugal next month.
With their eyes firmly set on upcoming World Olympic Qualification Event in Gondomar, Portugal, from January 22-26, the Indian men’s table tennis squad is busy tuning up to it with a preparatory camp at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.
While the likes of Achanta Sharath Kamal, Manav Thakkar, and Manika Batra, the highest-ranked women’s paddler in the country, have already gathered in Chennai, the likes of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, 2018 Commonwealth Games champion, Harmeet Desai, and Anthony Amalraj are also expected to join the camp soon.
Sathiyan, the highest-ranked men’s paddler in the country, has all but qualified for the singles competition at the 2020 Olympics and is in Korea training with the national team there since December 22. His Korean stint is expected to go on till December 30.
Speaking to the Olympic Channel a few weeks back, the Indian paddler said that the focus in the new year will be on ensuring that the men’s team makes the Olympic cut.
“I have virtually qualified for the singles but we want to make the cut in the team qualification event as well because India has never played the Olympics as a team. The Indian team has been doing really well and we are very positive, so with all those good things happening, we are confident of making the cut as soon as possible. Not only making it to the Olympics but winning a medal is also very exciting,” he had said.
Meanwhile, back in Chennai, the team will focus on the doubles pair to ensure that they are in good shape heading into the Olympic qualification next month. The Portugal event will consist of four singles and one doubles tie, and with one of Sathiyan or Sharath Kamal playing two singles, the two will not be in a position to pair for the doubles as well.
“Doubles will be the most important as the tie starts with it,” Sharath Kamal was quoted as saying by Sportstar website. “We are concerned about the doubles because normally Sathiyan and I pair. But in this (Olympic qualification) tournament, we cannot play together as one of us will have to play two singles. We need to practice all the permutations and combinations.”