Table Tennis: With Olympic qualifiers in March, senior nationals to be held in February

India's top paddlers Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Manika Batra will hope to secure berths for Tokyo Games

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Indian paddlers Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Manika Batra and Achanta Sharath Kamal will look to qualify for Tokyo 2020 when the Olympic qualifying events will be held in Doha in March 2021.

The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) is looking to host its senior national in February itself so that the players get enough time to prepare and enter the bio-bubble in Doha for the qualifying events in Doha.

"Dates will be confirmed soon but the plan is to conduct the nationals before February end so that players have some time before taking part in the international events. The senior nationals will be held in Sonepat," TTFI secretary MP Singh told The New Indian Express.

"Safety is our priority and hence, the age group tournaments will be conducted last. We will have a further meeting next week to decide the dates for the seniors and have a discussion with the various states regarding entries," the secretary added.

The senior nationals will also mark the beginning of the TTFI calendar in 2021.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced its revised calendar, with the two Olympic qualifiers taking place in March. The Asian Olympic qualifier will take place from March 13-15 in Doha and it will be followed by the World Olympic qualifier from March 16-19 at the same venue.

Manika Batra.

The men's and women's table tennis players from India had failed to book their quota for Tokyo 2020 during the 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification tournament in Gondomar, Portugal but will look to come back stronger with their performances in the new year.

Sathiyan lost his key singles contest while Batra failed to help India beat France.

Following the senior nationals, the likes of Sathiyan and Kamal are likely to compete at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers which will be a high priority event for the Indian paddlers.