National Ranking Table Tennis Championships-2015 (South Zone)

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Date: 11th to 16th August, 2015

Venue: Multi Purpose Indoor Stadium,next to Jawaharlal Nehru Atheletic Stadium, Behind Central
Railway Station, Periamet, Chennai 600003.

 


South Zone TT entries touch 1600-mark!

Chennai, August 11: The new season having kicked off with the
Inter-Institutional Championships at New Delhi a couple of weeks ago, the
table tennis caravan has now moved from north to down south for the
National Ranking (South Zone) Table Tennis Championships, beginning here at
the Jawaharlal Nehru multi-purpose Indoor Stadium from tomorrow.

Normally, a zonal event attracts about 550-600 players but this time the
South Zone championships seem to have turned a new leaf. An unprecedented
1,610 entries from over 850 paddlers in different categories—Cadet,
Sub-Junior, Junior, Youth and Senior—prove this point. Similarly, the
importance of a zonal event is also not lost on those players who belong to
the top echelons.

And this is what makes the first zonal event, to be held between August 11
and 16, a mega blockbuster in terms of both quantity and quality. One could
see a spring or two in the steps of the organizers—Chennai District Table
Tennis Association—who are hosting an event of this size for the first
time, though Tamil Nadu had hosted the South Zone championships a long time
before.

Ranking points in these types of championships are vital to every player’s
progress as they become the basis for selection into the national camps as
well as the Indian squads. A season well begun can be profitable to the
paddlers as they gain from strength to strength when they look ahead at the
season lying ahead keeping in mind the ranking points awarded.

With top players of the county, sans Achanta Sharath Kamal, will be vying
with one another to reach the podium. Though it is a bit encouraging for
the other participants, Sharath’s absence—he is yet to completely recover
from the hip injury he suffered during the World Championships in China
this April—will be felt both by the organizers and his hometown fans. The
good news, however, is that the ace Indian, who achieved his career-best
ranking of 32—he jumped eight places from No. 44 at Suzhou—has already
begun his physical workouts in Germany and would take some more time before
jumping into real-time action.

Nevertheless, one top player’s nonappearance gives that much opportunity to
the rest in fray, including the reigning and former national champions. It
is up to the players to utilize it to their benefit and create an opening
for them and aim for the 10 gold medals on offer across five categories.

For the top paddlers, competing in the senior class, there is an additional
bonus of getting a look-in by the national selectors and making it to the
Indian men and women’s squads for the Asian Championships, to be held at
Pattaya (Thailand) in September. This is what will weigh each and every
player that pays his first visit to the table tomorrow morning.
Additionally, they have a total prize purse of Rs. 5.76 lakh to target at.

The local flavor is taken care of by contenders like G.Sathiyan, Anthony
Amalraj, Sushmit Sriram, R. Abhishek and E. Prabhakaran, to name a few in
the men’s section, and K. Shamini, Vidhya, Amrutha Pushpak and Reeth Rishya
in the women’s category. Apart from them, there will be a whole lot of
up-and-coming juniors like C.R. Harshavardini, Selena Deepthi Selvakumar,
Abhinaya Ramesh and Yashini.

The event will begin with Stage 1 matches in the Cadet section with the
boys and girls finals slated for Wednesday evening. The junior finals will
be on the fifth day of the championships while the last day will witness
finals in the Youth and Senior sections.

Organizing secretary J.Selvakumar wants to make it a memorable event and he
believes this would be possible because of an enthusiastic bunch of former
players. “Fortunately, we have a good team of people, including former
players, lending a helping hand. I am really grateful to both the Table
Tennis Federation of India and the Tamil Nadu Table Tennis Association for
reposing the faith in Chennai DTTA and allotting us the championships,”
said the former national player.

The championships will be conducted under the supervision of ITTF’s
Competition Manager, Ganeshan Neelakanta Iyer who will be assisted by chief
referee T.G. Upadhyay, deputy referees M.J.S. Dileep Kumar and A.
Satheeshe. They will have the services of 40 Blue Badge, International and
national umpires.

All equipment—flooring, tables and plastic balls—used will be from Stag.

 

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