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Table Tennis

WTT Star Contender Goa: Harmeet and Manika headline Indian challenge

Harmeet Desai and Manika Batra will lead India's challenge in the strong singles field of WTT Star Contender Goa 2024.

Manika Batra and Harmeet Desai are a part of the controversial 2022 CWG squad selected by the CoA (Source: Getty)

Manika Batra and Harmeet Desai are a part of the controversial 2022 CWG squad selected by the CoA (Source: Getty)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 6 Jan 2024 1:24 PM GMT

Harmeet Desai and Manika Batra will headline India's challenge in strong singles as Goa gears up for the WTT Star Contender 2024 scheduled at the Peddem Indoor Stadium from January 23 to 28.

Hugo Calderano, the former Youth Olympics bronze medallist from Brazil, will be among the 17 Top-20 stars to feature in the singles main draw of India’s biggest international table tennis tournament, co-hosted by Stupa Sports Analytics and Ultimate Table Tennis under the guidance of Table Tennis Federation of India.

Ace Indian paddler Manika Batra, who is currently ranked 35 in the world, reigning national champion Harmeet Desai (WR 75), and Sreeja Akula (WR 89) have ensured the country’s presence in the singles main draw with a direct entry.

Four Indian pairs have also secured direct entries in their respective categories. Manika and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will compete in the mixed doubles while Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee have cut the women’s doubles main draw.

The pair of Sathiyan-Sharath Kamal and Manush Shah-Manav Thakkar will feature in the men’s doubles main draw.

“Hosting an international event is one of the crucial steps in promoting and developing sport in the country. Watching the world’s biggest international stars live in action encourages the younger generation to choose this sport. It is a great opportunity for our Indian players as well to take advantage of home support and make the most of this opportunity to progress in their career,” UTT co-promoter Vita Dani said.

The 17-year-old rising French star Felix Lebrun (WR 8), former World No. 1 and two-time Olympics bronze medallist Dimitrij Ovtcharov (WR 12), African legend Quadri Aruna (WR 16), 2021 World Championships silver medallist Truls Moregard of Sweden (WR 19) and South Korea’s Jang Woojin (WR 10) are among the key attractions in the men’s singles main draw.

Dang Qiu (WR 13), Darko Jorgic (WR 14), Anton Kallberg (WR 15), Lim Jong-hoon (WR 17), Marcos Freitas (WR 18), and Omar Assar (WR 20) are the other Top-20 players to compete in the men’s singles main event.

The women’s singles main draw, on the other hand, will feature South Korea’s Shin Yubin (WR 9), Xiaoxin Yang (WR 14), Joo Cheonhui (WR 16), and the last edition’s runner-up Cheng I-Ching (WR 18) among others.

The 48-player singles main draw will consist of 34 direct entries, four wildcards, two Top-20 nominations by WTT, and eight qualifiers. The doubles main draw will feature 16 pairs with 10 direct entries, two wildcards, and four from the qualifiers.

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