India’s high paddlers will enter an important week of their quest to e-book a spot on the Tokyo Olympics with the back-to-back world and Asian qualification tournaments starting in Doha on Sunday.
The seasoned Sharath Kamal, India’s highest-ranked desk tennis participant at world No. 32 and the Thirty seventh-ranked G Sathiyan, and world No. 63 Manika Batra and No. 95 Sutirtha Mukherjee amongst girls will participate within the World Singles Qualification Match from March 14-17, adopted by the Asian Olympic Qualification Match from March 18-20.
The Asian occasion will present a a lot simpler path for the 4 gamers to undergo, in addition to an opportunity for Sharath and Batra to seal a berth in combined doubles. Regardless of a majority of the world’s high paddlers having certified by the crew occasion held in January final 12 months – the place each Indian groups dissatisfied – Sharath and Sathiyan could have three top-25 males within the 73-strong area on the earth qualifiers. There are eight gamers ranked above Batra within the girls’s area of 60.
4 Tokyo spots for males and 5 for ladies shall be up for grabs on the earth event. The boys shall be divided into three teams, with one spot every for the group winner. The shedding finalist and semi-finalists will then battle for the opposite spot. The same format has been drawn for the ladies, who shall be divided into 4 teams.
“Within the Asian event, I do know I’ll qualify; it’s extra of a formality,” Sharath stated from Doha on Saturday. “The world event shall be an extra event the place I can qualify early. So the strain isn’t too excessive. If I qualify from it, it is going to be rather more satisfying as a result of I might’ve performed a few of my greatest ranges of desk tennis in a a lot stronger area.”
Sharath and Sathiyan are the highest two seeds within the Asian qualifiers and are anticipated to bag the regional quota. “Our greater probability is certainly on the Asian qualifiers,” Sathiyan stated. “It’s a scenario the place Sharath and I’ll get in (for the Tokyo Video games) even when we don’t make it by the world occasion. However we’re not going to take it calmly. My purpose will nonetheless be to qualify by the world qualifiers.”
Indian paddlers returned to aggressive mode final month after a spot of virtually a 12 months, within the nationwide championships in Panchkula. They then shifted base to Doha, which hosted a few World Desk Tennis (WTT) occasions within the lead-up to the qualifiers. The 38-year-old Sharath not solely acquired much-needed high quality sport time but additionally a confidence-boosting five-game victory over world No. 16 German Patrick Franziska within the Spherical of 32 of the WTT Star Contender earlier this week.
“I’m fairly assured with the best way I’ve been taking part in right here and I’ll take that confidence into the qualifiers,” Sharath stated. “Till two days in the past I used to be serious about the way to method the world qualifiers and whether or not I ought to go onerous in it. Then I assumed if I’m on an excellent run, why cease it?”
Contemporary off his nationwide title after defeating Sharath within the ultimate, Sathiyan crashed out within the Spherical of 32 of each the occasions – shedding to fifth-ranked Japanese teen Harimoto Tomokazu and world No. 20 Nigerian Aruna Quadri, who options on the earth qualifiers. The Indian was battling a shoulder problem by the 2 tournaments and it’s nonetheless not 100 %, however he stays upbeat about his health.
“It’s going to be fairly robust to qualify on the earth occasion with a variety of high gamers there. However I really feel fitter. We’ve been right here for 2 weeks and making ready nicely,” Sathiyan stated.
Batra should punch means above her weight on the earth qualifiers, particularly after shedding within the ultimate qualifying and the primary spherical of the 2 WTT tournaments. The 25-year-old is seeded second within the Asian occasion, with Mukherjee two spots after her.