If all goes well and in what could be a first for Haryana and Panchkula, the 22nd Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship 2021 will be hosted at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex, Sector 3, Panchkula, later this year. While India had hosted the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship in Odisha in 2019, the country had got the hosting rights for the 2021 edition too and Dushyant Chautala, president, Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and Deputy CM, Haryana, confirmed that the Indian body will work towards hosting the 2021 Commonwealth Table Tennis championship in Panchkula later this year.
“India has got the hosting nomination for the 22nd Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship 2021 and whenever the next Annual General Meeting of the TTFI happens, we will work towards Panchkula hosting this International championship. Haryana can host International tournaments and all our efforts will be to organise this championship in a successful manner with players from 28 countries competing in the championship depending upon the then situation. In the Senior National TT Championship, which started today, more than 200 women players are competing after the RT PCR Covid-19 test and same will happen in the men’s category,” said Chautala after the inauguration ceremony of the 82nd Senior National TT Championship.
In the last edition of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship, India had made a clean sweep of all the gold medals on offer as the Indian paddlers won the men’s singles, doubles, women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles on offer. While Ayhika Mukherjee had claimed the gold medal in women’s singles category, Harmeet Desai had grabbed the gold medal in the men’s singles category. The pair of Pooja Sahasrabudhe and Krittwika Sinha Roy had claimed the women’s doubles gold while the pair of Anthony Amalraj and Manav Thakkar had emerged as the winners in the men’s doubles final. The multi-purpose hall at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex was built at a cost of more than 20 crores and it has a capacity to host 4,000 fans with ability to host 12 sports disciplines like badminton, judo, wrestling, kabaddi and others. In 2019, some matches of the Pro Kabaddi League were also played at the venue.
“The hosting of 2019 Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship saw Indian paddlers winning all the gold medals on offer and the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship will also provide the Indian players a great opportunity to excel at the international stage. We are looking for a window after the Tokyo Olympics if all goes well,” said MP Singh, secretary, TTFI.
Earlier ML Khattar, CM, Haryana, inaugurated the Senior National Table Tennis Championship and talked of developing the complex and Panchkula as a ‘Khel Gaon’. “Panchkula has been emerging as a sports hub in India and I am sure all the players in the Senior National TT Championship will return home with fond memories of Panchkula. In November, the city will host Khelo India games where more than 12,000 players will compete and this will also help us to prepare and aim for International competitions here and develop it as a Khel Gaon,” said Khattar.
Manika gets top seeding
Meanwhile 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Manika Batra of PSPB was handed the top seed in the main draw while the defending champion Sutirtha Mukherjee of Haryana was given the second seed in the women’s singles main draw announced on Monday.
While Batra did not compete in any state championships, Mukherjee had competed in the Haryana State Championships earlier in December last year.
Monday also saw the two qualification rounds being completed and Tuesday will saw the main draw matches in the afternoon.
One player each from the 48 groups in qualification rounds will advance into the main draw.