TTFI update – 78th Cadet&Sub-Junior Nationals-Preview
TABLE TENNIS FEDERATION OF INDIA
Greenhorns and more teams make Sub-Junior nationals a juicy affair
Siliguri, November 30: The Cadet and Sub-Junior National Table Tennis Championships held at Kolkata last year had thrown in quite a few surprises, thanks to some enterprising performances put up by paddlers from states like Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, PSPBA, West Bengal and Maharashtra in team events.
The 78th edition of the event with 11Even Sports as title sponsors, beginning here at the SMC Indoor Stadium tomorrow and organized by the North Bengal Table Tennis Association, should equally prove to be intriguing and with added substances.
In fact, the number of teams this year has gone up than it was in the last edition as the entries in Sub-Junior Boys (32), Sub-Junior Girls (31), Cadet Boys (31) and Cadet Girls (29) indicate. This also means that much worry for the states that had finished among the top eight teams as they cannot things for granted.
No doubt, based on last year’s presentation, the team draws in the two sections give an impression that fight for supremacy in the Sub-Junior Boys could rest with Gujarat and PSPB Academy while in Sub-Junior Girls’ section, it should be between West Bengal and Maharashtra, who finished runners-up at Kolkata.
As for the Cadet Boys and Cadet Girls, Tamil Nadu teams look to be the obvious hot favourites, having annexed both titles in the previous edition with Delhi and Karnataka giving them a good run for their money in the finals. And, understandably, these teams have been given top billing and divided into eight groups.
But group divisions provide only a glimpse of what to expect and not necessarily how a team will perform this year. For instance, Gujarat has a new set of players in their ranks while PSPBA have trusted hands like Jeho Hinakulhpuingheta and Alberto Lrruata, which straightaway puts PSPBA in a position of strength. On the other hand, Delhi despite failing to make it to the semifinals last year, should give a good fight with the likes of Payas Jain, Shreyans Goel and Yashansh Malik in their team composition.
In Sub-Junior Girls, holders West Bengal, too, have new faces while Maharashtra A, who finished runners-up have a better winning quotient in Dia Chitale and Swastika Ghosh. Similarly, bronze winners Delhi have Vanshika Bhargava, Tamanna Gulshan, Anubha Bajaj along with Tisha Kohli who have a proven track record.
Fortunately, Tamil Nadu have no such hiccups, thanks to a strong line-up of Preyesh Raj, who made a clean sweep of zonal titles in Cadet Boys, along with Tarun Shanmugham and other support casts. Kavyashree Baskar, who had
three zonal titles this season, will have to shoulder Cadet Girls’ burden for the state even as Delhi are capable of plotting their downfall with the composition of Lakshita Narang, S. Gayatri, Tanzia Sharma and Manika Kesar.
With some of the boys and girls that competed in the last nationals having moved on to higher categories, there is always room for others in fray to sneak in with worthy displays. In other words, the Cadet sections, more or less, leaves the field wide open for other contenders to exploit. By the same token, these nationals also throw open the doors to players with bigger opportunities who, with some luck, courage and maturity, can turn it around in their favaour.
According to Competition Manager Ganeshan Neelakanta Iyer, Stag will be the equipment suppliers for the championships which will have Anil Dubey as chief referee and T.G. Upadhya as his deputy. They will be assisted by 60 Blue Badge, international and national umpires.