India’s leading table tennis players G Sathiyan and Manika Batra have sought an exemption from the national federation TTFI for the national camp beginning in Sonepat on Thursday, making them ineligible for selection for the upcoming Asian Championships as per the new rules.
Manika wants to continue with her training regimen in Pune while Sathiyan is playing in the Polish league.
“I request (the TTFI) to let me continue with the training plan I follow. I would like to prepare well and make a lot of effort (for the upcoming events),” she told PTI.
Sathiyan, on his part, said: “I am currently training in Poland with some high-quality sparring partners and will be playing some much-needed quality matches in the Polish Superliga.
“And then will rest and recover for few days in Chennai and head to Doha for WTT on September 17 followed by Asians at the same place. So, unfortunately, will not be able to attend the camp this time.”
The Asian Championships begin in Doha on September 28 and will be preceded by the WTT Star Contender.
Both Manika and Sathiyan had won the mixed doubles title in Hungary last month and also did well in the singles competition.
However, TTFI advisor MP Singh said the federation’s policies are not player specific and whosoever doesn’t turn up for the national camp will not be considered for selection as per the new rules.
“Only the players that are part of the national camp before a specific tournament will be considered for selection into the National Team to represent India,” read a note from TTFI secretary Arun Banerjee after the executive body meeting on August 4.
Manav Thakkar and Harmeet Desai, who both are training in Germany at the moment, confirmed to PTI that they will be joining the camp soon. Veteran Sharath Kamal, too, will be attending.
A TTFI source told PTI that Sutirtha Mukherjee is injured and therefore needs to furnish a medical certificate issued only by SAI-approved doctors to prove her injury. Archana Kamath and Sreeja Akula are expected to be available for the camp.
TTFI had come up with a new set of rules for national camps after the Olympics. The Indian contingent did well in Tokyo but Manika not taking national coach Somyadeep Roy’s help for her singles matches caused controversy after her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape was denied field of play access.
The federation showcaused Manika to explain why she refused the coach’s help. The player has responded to the federation’s notice and TTFI is yet to decide the next course of action.
It has also been learnt that Roy has not been asked to join the camp till the matter is resolved.
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