Star table tennis player Manika Batra was on Wednesday left out of the India squad for the Asian Championships beginning September 28 in Doha after she did not attend the mandatory national camp in Sonepat. (Other Sports)
In the absence of Manika Batra, 97th-ranked Sutirtha Mukherjee will lead the women’s team. The other members are Ayhika Mukherjee (ranked 131) and Archana Kamath (132).
Veteran Sharath Kamal (ranked 33rd) will spearhead the men’s challenge in the company of G Sathiyan (38), Harmeet Desai (72), Manav Thakkar (134) and Sanil Shetty (247).
Powerhouse China is not taking part in the event, raising medal hopes in the men’s team event. Singles and doubles competitions will also be conducted.
The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) had made it clear that any player not attending the camp will not be considered for selection. The team was picked on Wednesday and was subsequently published on the TTFI website.
The federation had made attendance in camps compulsory following the Tokyo Olympics. Manika Batra had informed the federation that she would like to continue training with her personal coach in Pune.
The Khel Ratna awardee has also made match-fixing allegations against national coach Soumydeep Roy for asking her to throw a match during the Olympic qualifiers. TTFI has formed an inquiry panel to probe the allegations.
Sathiyan, Desai and Sutirtha joined the national camp late due to different reasons. While Sathiyan was playing in Poland, Harmeet was in Germany and Sutirtha had a fever.
Men’s team: Manav Thakkar, Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty.
Men’s doubles: Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan; Manav Thakkar and Harmeet Desai.
Women’s team: Sutirtha Mukherjee, Sreeja Akula, Ayhika Mukherjee, Archana Kamath.
Women’s doubles: Archana Kamath and Sreeja Akula; Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee.
Mixed doubles: Manav Thakkar and Archana Kamath; Harmeet Desai and Sreeja Akula.