On Tuesday, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) announced the draws for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 World Team Qualification tournament for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the Indian men’s team have it relatively easier than the women’s team. While the men, who are seeded fifth, have been drawn to take on lowly ranked Luxembourg in the first round, the women will clash against Sweden.
Luxembourg, comprising of Eric Glod, Luka Mladenovic and Gilles Michely, are seeded 32nd in the men’s section. The Indian men’s team, spearheaded by Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Achanta Sharath Kamal, should progress to the pre-quarters without breaking much sweat. If they do, in the round of 16, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold-winning team will meet the winners between Iran and Slovenia. Should they progress to the quarters, Sathiyan and Co. will earn a ticket to Tokyo 2020.
It’s a little tighter for the women’s team, who did manage to scale great heights a couple of years back, though. Manika Batra and Co., who are seeded 17th, will take on 16th seeds Sweden in the round of 32. Should they manage to overcome the challenge, they will face either Romania or Italy. The women’s team will also have to progress to the quarters to book an Olympic berth.
Here is all you need to know about the tournament which kicks off on 22nd January, 2020 in Gondomor, Portugal.
Men’s: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Achanta Sharath Kamal, Manav Vikas Thakkar, Harmeet Desai, Anthony Amalraj
Women’s: Manika Batra, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Ayhika Mukherjee, Madhurika Patkar, Archana Girish Kamath
Men’s: India (5) vs Luxembourg (32) — 10.30 pm (IST) Wednesday, 22nd January, 2020
Women’s: India (17) vs Sweden (16) — 12.30 am (IST) Thursday, 23nd January, 2020