8 months after Bhavina Patel's Paralympics silver, Gujarat announces 1st State Para Table Tennis Championships
Just eight months after paddler Bhavina Patel clinched the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, GSTTA has announced its decision to host the state's first-ever Para TT Championships.
Just eight months after paddler Bhavina Patel clinched the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, the Gujarat State Table Tennis Association (GSTTA) has announced its decision to host the state's first-ever Para TT Championships.
The decision was taken on Sunday at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the state body at the Sports Club of Ahmedabad.
"Our players have been performing extremely well in the recent past. Multiple paddlers from Gujarat including the likes of Bhavina, Sonal Patel, Bhavika Kukadiya, Ramesh Chaudhary and others bagged medals at the Para TT nationals in Indore last month. This is what drove us to the decision of hosting the state championships for para-table tennis," said Kushal Sangtani, the secretary of GSTTA to The Bridge.
While the city of Bhavnagar has been confirmed as the host for the inaugural event, the dates are yet to be finalised. According to Sangtani, the GSTTA is targeting to host the event tentatively by the end of the year depending on the event calendar of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) for the 2022-23 season.
The success of Bhavinaben Patel at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics has given a huge boost to para table tennis in Gujarat, believes Sangtani.
"Till now we did not know about the presence of para table tennis players in Gujarat – everything was very scattered, but it has changed after Bhavina's medal in Tokyo. Since then we have seen a surge in disabled people taking up table tennis in Gujarat. We are expecting at least 100 entries for the state para championship," he says.
The inaugural Gujarat State Para Table Tennis Championships is said to be the vision of GSTTA President IAS Vipul Mittra, who also wishes to start hosting a championship for deaf paddlers in the state soon. Gujarat's Shiney Gomes is the team captain of the Indian table tennis contingent at the ongoing Deaflympics at Caxias do Sul.