Nationals to help top Indian players prepare for four international events in Doha in March. Watch the Senior National Table Tennis Championships live.
India’s 82nd Senior National Table Tennis Championships gets underway at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula, Haryana, from February 14, 2021. The tournament will run till February 23.
Originally set to be held in Sonepat from February 18, the event was brought forward and the venue changed to allow the Indian table tennis players to travel to Doha well in advance for four important international tournaments.
The WTT Contender (March 3 to 6), WTT Star Contender (March 8 to 13), World singles qualification tournament (March 14 to 17) and the Asian Olympics Qualifiers (March 18 to 20) will be held back-to-back immediately after the nationals. Qualifiers for the WTT Contender begin on February 28.
However, due to COVID-19, only singles events will be held this year to keep contact between the players to a minimum. All players are expected to report to the venue on February 13, where they will undergo COVID tests. Their participation will be subject to the results of the tests.
In men’s singles, the entry list features a total of 198 players. It includes record nine-time national champion Achanta Sharath Kamal, who is the best ranked Indian table tennis player (world No. 32).
He will be up against tough competition in Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (world No. 37) and veteran Anthony Amalraj (World No. 99).
Anthony Amalraj is a two-time former national champion but G Sathiyan – a three-time finalist – will hope to end his drought at the national level.
World No. 73 Harmeet Desai, meanwhile, will be the defending champion having won the last edition held in February last year.
Last year’s finalist Manav Thakkar and Maharashtra’s Sanil Shetty will be the other big names to look out for.
The women’s singles event also features a packed roster with 161 participants in the entry list. World No. 63 Manika Batra, currently the best-ranked Indian women’s singles paddler, will be the big draw.
Manika Batra’s only singles nationals title came in 2015 in Hyderabad.
Last year’s champion Sutirtha Mukherjee, representing Haryana, meanwhile will look to retain her title on home turf. Archana Kamath, winner of the 80th nationals, and Madhurika Patkar will be the other contenders.
The women’s singles event of the 82nd National Table Tennis Championships starts on February 15, 2021, while men’s singles get underway from February 19.
Live streaming of the Senior National Table Tennis Championships will be available on the MobiSportz app and YouTube channel.
The event will not be telecast on any TV channels in India.