Vadodara: All eyes will be on the tables as the IOCL 5th Gujarat State Ranking Table Tennis Tournament that gets underway here in Sama Sports Complex, Baroda promising to be a blockbuster.
Competition in men’s and women’s section and record number of entries at the event has provided an ideal ‘script’ to be a box-office hit.
For the first time after 2019, a state ranking will have 640 participants in various categories fighting for the ultimate glory.
Earlier, Rajkot edition of the state ranking had hosted 632 players.
The tournament to be held under the aegis of Gujarat State Table Tennis Association is organized by Table Tennis Association of Baroda which is sponsored by IOCL, GAIL and UTT.
The Men’s section, in earlier four editions, has witnessed four different winners and the fifth has the potential to deliver mouth-watering encounters.
If Ahmedabad-based lanky paddler Chitrax Bhatt opened the season on a winning note at Rajkot, it was Burhanuddin Malubhaiwala of Surat bagging the Bharuch leg Men’s title. The third and fourth State Ranking saw two Amdavadis Dhairya Parmar (in Gandhidham) and Akshit Savla (in Bhavnagar) standing on the top of the podium. Soham Bhattacharya who is yet to open the account will be eager to silence his opponents with a title at Baroda.
The women’s section too promises to keep spectators on the edge of their seats. Back from her triumphant outing in the recently concluded UTT, Krittwika Sinha Roy will aim to spoil top ranked and seed Kausha Bhairapure’s party.
Sinha Roy, who was part of Goa team, will be competing in the State ranking for the first time in two years. Another Surti who will be aiming high is Frenaz Chhipia. Frenaz has ruled state women’s competitions for years, however injuries and form has been little concern.
Frenaz missed Bhavnagar tourney due to injury and will be aiming to make her presence felt.
Jaynil Mehta of Rajkot, Bhavnagar’s Namna Jaiswal and Radhapriya Goel of Gandhinagar will be major absentees. The trio is representing India at the World University Games in China.
“We are very happy to have a record entry at the event. Around 640 participants after Covid-19 is very encouraging and reflects the popularity of Table Tennis. Moreover, we will be happy to host Krittwika, who is in top form and high with confidence after UTT win,” said Jayaben Thakkar, president TTAB
Talking of the preparations, TTAB secretary Kalpesh Thakkar said, “TTAB has always provided good facilities to players and this time it is no different. Sama Sports Complex, the venue is ready and waiting for the state players. We also wish the players compete in the best spirit of the game.”
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