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CWG 2022 LIVE: Sharath Kamal & Manika Batra to lead Indian table tennis team at Commonwealth Games, look to repeat 2018 Gold Coast HIGH


CWG 2022 LIVE: Sharath Kamal & Manika Batra to lead Indian table tennis team at Commonwealth Games- Scaling a new high after the…

CWG 2022 LIVE: Sharath Kamal & Manika Batra to lead Indian table tennis team at Commonwealth Games- Scaling a new high after the ‘peak’ of 2018 would be tough but the Indian table tennis contingent would be a content lot if it manages to match its record eight-medal tally of Gold Coast at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Follow CWG 2022 LIVE Updates with InsideSport.IN

India had exceeded expectations in Australia by winning three gold, a couple of silver and three bronze medals.

Also Read- CWG 2022 Opening Ceremony: Neeraj Chopra or PV Sindhu, who will be India’s flag bearer in CWG 2022 OPENING CEREMONY, messy IOA yet to finalize the name: Follow LIVE

Half of those medals, including two gold, came via Manika Batra whose career graph and popularity sky rocketed thereafter.The 27-year-old from Delhi stunned Olympic medallist Feng Tianwei of Singapore not once but twice in the competition to secure an individual and team gold for India.
The 35-year-old Singaporean will be looking to settle scores against Manika in Birmingham. One can expect her to come better prepared as well for tackling the pimpled rubber that the Indian plays with.

CWG 2022 LIVE: Sharath Kamal & Manika Batra to lead Indian table tennis team at Commonwealth Games, look to repeat 2018 Gold Coast HIGH
CWG 2022 LIVE: Sharath Kamal & Manika Batra to lead Indian table tennis team at Commonwealth Games, look to repeat 2018 Gold Coast HIGH

It will be a new look women’s team this time around with reigning national champion Sreeja Akula, Reeth Rishya and Diya Chitale joining the 41st-ranked Manika.

India’s finest TT player Sharath Kamal, who will be featuring in his fifth and last Commonwealth Games, the seasoned G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty form a formidable men’s squad.

The players trained in Portugal before moving to Hungary for competition ahead of the multi-sporting event.

CWG 2022 LIVE: Sharath Kamal & Manika Batra to lead Indian table tennis team at Commonwealth Games, look to repeat 2018 Gold Coast HIGH

Off the table, it wasn’t the smoothest of build ups for the table tennis contingent with three players approaching court against their non-selection. Eventually, only Chitale managed to get in at the expense of Archana Kamath, who was supposed to play doubles alongside Manika.

The four-member men’s squad remains unchanged from the last edition. The quartet, much richer in experience, will be expected to defend their team title.

Indian men will be seeded third behind familiar rivals England and Nigeria.
“England as a team are slightly stronger than Nigeria. The aim is definitely to win gold in the team as well as individual event,” said the 40-year-old Sharath who last won a singles gold back in Melbourne 2006.

Nigeria boast of world number 12 Aruna Quadri while England have a much improved Liam Pitchford and veteran Paul Drinkhall who tends to raise his game in multi-sporting events.

Having said that, the Indians will be fancying their chances in all categories, against their rivals.

Talking about India’s rapid growth in the table tennis world since he made his Games debut 16 years ago, Sharath said: “Back then, winning a Commonwealth medal was a big deal, now we are expected to win. Our medals in Asian Games for the very first time has also contributed massively to how our opponents look at us.”

CWG 2022 LIVE: Sharath Kamal & Manika Batra to lead Indian table tennis team at Commonwealth Games, look to repeat 2018 Gold Coast HIGH

Not a gold but India were able to bag as many as four medals in mixed doubles and doubles in Gold Coast and a similar number will be expected this time around.

Sathiyan will be a gold medal contender alongside Sharath and Manika in men’s doubles and mixed doubles respectively.

Squad:

Men: Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty

Women: Manika Batra, Reeth Rishya, Sreeja Akula, Diya Chitale

Follow InsideSport on GOOGLE NEWS  / Follow Commonwealth Games 2022 LIVE updates with InsideSport.IN



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