Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra will spearhead India’s squads for the upcoming World Championships, Table Tennis Federation of India announced on Tuesday.
Indian table tennis veteran Sharath Kamal, who was in fine form on his way to three gold medals at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games earlier this month, has opted out citing personal reasons, the federation stated.
The table tennis world championships will be held in Chengdu, China, from September 30 to October 9.
Sharath was the standout table tennis player for India at CWG 2022. The 40-year-old won gold medals in the men’s singles, mixed doubles and men’s team events, and bagged silver in men’s doubles. He now has seven gold medals at the marquee event since his debut at Melbourne 2006. He has also won three silver and three bronze medals over the five editions he’s competed in.
Sathiyan, the top-ranked Indian in the world at No 37, will lead the country’s challenge in the men’s section while world No 44 Manika Batra will lead the women’s team.
National champion Sreeja Akula, who had a breakthrough campaign at CWG 2022, will also be featuring.
“National men and women coaches S. Raman and Anindita Chakraborty, Chris Adrian Pfeiffer (personal coach of Manika) and masseur Harmeet Kaur will be the other members of the contingent,” read a statement from the Table Tennis Federation of India.
“Unfortunately, however, the Birmingham CWG multiple medallist A Sharath Kamal has opted out of the team, citing personal reasons.”
The Indian team is expected to leave for Chengdu on September 25.
A notable absentee in the squad is Archana Girish Kamath, who was rather controversially left out of the CWG squad as well.
Men: G Sathiyan, Sanil Shetty, Harmeet Desai, Manush Shah and Manav Thakkar.
Women: Manika Batra, Sreeja Akula, Reeth Rishya, Diya Chitale and Swastika Ghosh.
Coaches: S Raman and Anindita Chakraborty/Chris Adrian Pfeiffer (personal coach).
Masseur: Harmeet Kaur.