Paris Olympics 2024: Sharath Kamal And Manika Batra To Lead Indian Team At The Mega Event

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Veteran table tennis player Sharath Kamal and world number 24 Manika Batra will head the Indian men's and women's squads at the Paris Games, marking India's debut in the Olympic team events.

The senior selection committee of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) announced a six-member squad (three men and three women) on Thursday, in line with Olympic norms. They also named the individuals who will compete in the singles events.

The men's team will comprise Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, and Manav Thakkar, while the women's team will feature Manika Batra, Sreeja Akula, and Archana Kamath.

G. Sathiyan and Ayhika Mukherjee have been designated as the“Alternate Players” for the men's and women's sections, respectively.

In the singles competitions, Sharath and Harmeet will represent India in the men's event, with Manika and Sreeja competing in the women's event.

The selection was based on the latest world rankings. This will be the fifth and final Olympic appearance for the 41-year-old Sharath, who debuted at the Games in 2004.

The squads and individual selections were made according to the TTFI's established criteria. Three players automatically secured their spots due to their consistent performances and world rankings.

There was some debate over the third player for the women's squad. While Manika and Sreeja secured their spots due to their higher world rankings (both in the top 50), Archana Kamath (ranked 103) was chosen as the third player over Ayhika Mukherjee (ranked 133) based on several factors, including her ranking.

In the men's category, Sharath was a clear choice as the top-ranked Indian at No. 40. Harmeet (No. 63) and Manav (No. 62) were close in the rankings, but Harmeet was selected based on his better win-loss record in international and national competitions.

Massimo Costantini, invited as a special expert, contributed valuable insights during the selection process. Costantini, who has previously coached the Indian team, will officially take charge again next week.

Alternate players Sathiyan and Ayhika will travel with the team to Paris but will not stay in the official Games Village. They will be on standby in case of injuries.

The Teams:

Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, Manav Thakkar; Alternate Player: G. Sathiyan.
Women: Manika Batra, Sreeja Akula, Archana Kamath; Alternate Player: Ayhika Mukherjee.

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AsiaNet News

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