New Delhi: A nine-member Indian team, led bynational champions A Sharath Kamal and Madhurika Patkar, will participate in the Asian Championships to be held at Wuxi, China, beginning this Sunday.
The other team members include Soumyajit Ghosh, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty, Manika Batra, Suthirtha Mukherjee, Pooja Sahasrabuddhe and Mouma Das. The team members are accompanied by foreign expert Massimo Costantini and coach Arup Basak with a support staff in physiotherapist Kishore Dey.
For the first time in recent years, the sports ministry has also sanctioned a sparring partner in defensive player Lalrin Puia who will stay the entire duration of the championships between April 9 and 16.
The team members, who are currently training at Shanghai’s National Training Centre, will leave for the championships venue at Wuxi, a three-hour drive from the Chinese business capital, later today.
Except for Sarath Kamal and Ghosh, all other players had participated in the Thailand Open before arriving at Shanghai on April 4 for a short camp where they had an intense training session.
“The team members are in good shape and they are bolstered by the arrival of both Sharath and Ghosh,” said Massimo before leaving for Wuxi.
For the prestigious championships, ITTF has nominated Ganeshan Neelakana Iyer, a familiar face on the Indian circuit, as the competition manager with Atul Dubey from Rajasthan as one of his deputy referees.
Two Indian umpires, K Mahendra Singh (Manipur) and Sushanta Mazumdar (West Bengal), also have been nominated to officiate at the championships as technical officials.
Besides, C L Thade (Maharashtra) and Attoor Satheese (Kerala) will be at Wuxi to attend the Competition Manager course conducted by ITTF. This will help upgrade their knowledge as they prepare for bigger things in their career thanks to the encouragement from ITTF which was more competition managers from Asia, particularly India. Ganeshan is the lone competition manager available at present. PTI