World Table Tennis Championships: Can Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra-led India end 95-year-long medal drought?

Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra will lead India’s men’s and women’s table tennis squad at the World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, USA. The tournament is scheduled to start on November 23.

The star-studded side, including Tokyo Olympians Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sutirtha Mukherjee, will be keen to end a 95-year-long wait for a world medal.

The year 2021 has been a roller coaster journey for Indian table tennis. From paddlers punching above their weight in Tokyo to match-fixing controversy involving Manika Batra, it has been an action-packed year.

At the George R. Brown Convention Center, though, all that would matter is their recent run of form.

G. Sathiyan will be one paddler to watch out for in Houston. He will enter the competition riding on the back of his gold medal-winning performance at the WTT Contenders Series in Tunis.

He also clinched the bronze medal in the men’s doubles event, partnered with Sharath Kamal, at the Asian Table Tennis Championships 2021 in Doha, Qatar.

Sathiyan is leaving no stones unturned to become India’s first world medalist since 1926. He recently traded hits with Olympic medalist and World No. 6 Lin Yun-ju in Dusseldorf, Germany.

India has won two world medals since the inception of the competition in 1926.

SRG Suppiah won bronze in men’s singles. The second bronze medal was won by men’s team comprising of Hassan Ali Fyzee, Suppiah, Athar-Ali Fyzee, BC Singh and AM Peermahomed.

Manika Batra, who also won gold in women’s doubles at WTT Contender Lasko, is also in top form and will be eyeing a finish at the podium. She will finally look past the “match-throwing scandal” after Delhi HC gave her a clean chit.

The World Table Tennis Championships will also see top stars like Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha and Mima Ito. In men’s single World No.1 Fan Zhendong will be in action.

The championship is also going to see top stars like Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha (both Chinese) and Mima Ito from Japan. In the men’s singles too World No. 1 Fan Zhendong of China will be in action.

Indian team for World Table Tennis Championships 2021

Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Harmeet Desai, Amalraj Anthony, Manika Batra, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Madhurika Patkar, Ayhika Mukherjee

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