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Indian Table Tennis teams qualify for Paris Olympics, create history

Indian Men's and Women's Table Tennis teams create history by qualifying for the Olympics for the first time ever.

Indian Table Tennis teams qualify for Paris Olympics, create history

Ayhika Mukherjee in action at the Asian Table Tennis Championships in Korea. (Photo credit: ayhika.m/Instagram) 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 9 March 2024 5:03 PM GMT

Both the men's and women's table tennis teams have secured their spots at the upcoming Olympics, marking a historic milestone for the sport in the country, on Monday. Despite facing setbacks in their pre-quarterfinal matches at the ITTF World Table Tennis Team Championships in Busan, the Indian teams managed to secure world ranking spots, paving their way to the Olympics.

The news has sparked jubilation among Indian sports enthusiasts, especially after a tense wait following the exit of the Indian teams from the event. With calculators out and hopes high, the country waited anxiously to see if their teams would make it to the grand stage of the Olympics.

The latest TT March World Team Rankings reveal that the Men's Team remains steady at WR15, while the Women's Team has made a significant jump to WR13. This achievement not only secures team quotas for the Olympics but also guarantees two individual singles quotas for the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in each of the men's and women's singles categories.

In the women's singles category, the Indian players are in a strong position, with Manika Batra leading the ranking charts with an impressive win percentage. Following closely behind is Sreeja Akula, India's no. 2 player, who has also shown exceptional form in the current rankings. The performances of Ayhika Mukherjee and Archana Kamath in recent events have added intrigue to the qualification scenario for the second spot, making the competition within the team intense.

On the men's side, Harmeet Desai emerges as a standout player with consistent performances over the past year. However, seasoned players like Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, and Manav Thakkar have experienced fluctuations in form, adding suspense to the selection process.

The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has clarified its selection policy for the Olympics, stating, "If India qualifies as a team for the Paris Olympics 2024, they obtain (2) quota places for singles." The federation will select the two highest-ranked players from the team event to compete in the singles, rather than relying solely on world ranking places.

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