Sharath Kamal ditches Europe training for National Table Tennis Championship

Sharath Kamal
Image Courtesy: Getty

Indian table tennis stalwart Sharath Kamal has confirmed his participation in the upcoming National Table Tennis Championship, set to be held in February.

Table Tennis in India will be marking its return to action through the National Table Tennis Championship after a year-long hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sharath Kamal eyes National Championship in February ahead of international events

With the official announcement from Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), nine-times champion Sharath Kamal revealed that he cancelled plans to travel to Europe for training purposes to take part in the Nationals.

“I had plans to go to Europe for training but in the prevailing circumstances, I’ll stay back and play the championship I love,” Kamal was quoted by SportStar.

The National Table Tennis Championship is scheduled from February 18 to 27 and will be held in the city of Sonipat in Haryana. However, the championship will only feature singles events this year.

Just like other sports, all Table Tennis events were suspended on the onset of the COVID crisis soon after the National Championship last February. While the pandemic still remains a challenge, the TTFI has been positive to carry on with the event, with all required regulations in place.

“All the safety protocols and government advisories will be followed, with daily Antigen testing of all involved. The Haryana Government’s Health department will carry out these tests,” said M P Singh, the Secretary General of TTFI.

“Whether players, coaches, match-officials, parents or support staff, everyone will have to get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Test report and produce the clearance certificate on arrival,” Singh added.

After the conclusion of the Senior Nationals, the Youth and Junior Nationals will be held in Indore from the first week of March onwards.

Aside from Kamal, the National Championships will also feature fellow Olympian paddler G Sathiyan and others, as the Indian TT contingent readies themselves for the subsequent International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) events to be held in March in Doha, as well as the following Continental and World Qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics.

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