ITTF India Open 2017: Sharath To Lead Indian Challenge Against World's Best
Two Top-10 table tennis players of the World — Dmitrij Ovtcharov (World No.6) of Germany and Vladimir Samsonov (World No.8) of Belarus — are all set to take part in the upcoming ITTF Indian open ,which is scheduled to start from February 14.
Achanta Sharath Kamal. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: Two Top-10 table tennis players of the World — Dmitrij Ovtcharov (World No.6) of Germany and Vladimir Samsonov (World No.8) of Belarus — are all set to take part in the upcoming ITTF Indian open ,which is scheduled to start from February 14.
The women’s challenge will be spearheaded by the Hongkong duo, World No. 14 Doo Hoi Kem and World No. 19 Ching Lee Ho, making it one of the most thrilling sports events in the country.
Ace India paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal will lead the Indian challenge alongwith the young sensation Soumyajit Ghosh.
Eleventh seeded Sharath is India’s most prolific player in table tennis, having won multiple titles at the international level. Soumyajit, who has already represented India in two consecutive Olympics, is considered as the future of Indian table tennis.
The Indian charge in the women’s category will be led by 21-year-old Manika Batra along with the experienced Mouma Das.
Germany’s Ovtcharov, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and winner of team Bronze in 2016 Olympics will be the top seed and is expected to be the firm favourite given his current form.
The German likely to face stiff competition from Samsonov of Belarus, easily the most experienced and accomplished player on the roster. Amazingly, he is only the second paddler in the history of the game to stay in the Top 10 for 15 long years.
The India Open is part of the elite Seamaster2017 ITTF World Tour, with only 11 other countries hosting its events.
Apart from Hungary that has already hosted the first leg in January, Qatar (Feb. 23-26), Japan (Jun. 16-18), Korea (Apr. 20-23); China (Jun. 22-25); Australia (Jun 29-Jul. 2); Czech Republic (Aug. 24-27); Austria (Sep. 1-3); Bulgaria (Sep. 7-10); Germany (Nov 10-12) and Sweden (Nov. 16-19 Nov) will see action at this highest level.
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