Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal, and G Sathiyan, all Tokyo Olympians, have been named to the Indian table tennis squad for the Commonwealth Games 2022, which will be held in Birmingham, United Kingdom, from July 28 to August 8. Sreeja Akula, the women's national champ is also part of the squad.
The Indian squad also included Sreeja Akula, who won the women's singles title in the national championships in April. Sutirtha Mukherjee, who won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, was not selected for the eight-member squad. After a week-long national camp in Bengaluru ended on Monday, the Committee of Administrators (CoA), which is temporarily governing the sport in India, picked the Indian table tennis squad.
Manika Batra is India's highest-ranked women's table tennis player, with Archana Kamath ranked 66 in the world, Sreeja Akula ranked 69 in the world, and Reeth Rishya following closely behind with the rank of 100. Gnanasekaran Sathiyan (world No. 34) and Sharath Kamal (world No. 38) are two of the best men's table tennis players in India. The men's squad is completed by Harmeet Desai (world No. 124) and Sanil Shetty (world No. 210).
Meanwhile, Manush Shah (world No. 98) and youngster Diya Chitale were named to the reserves. The four-member Indian men's squad met all the current selection standards, which include taking into account domestic rankings. Meanwhile, the women's squad awaits the Sports Authority of India's final approval (SAI).
"Under the existing selection criteria, one of the members (Archana Kamath) falls outside the top four (domestic rankings). The selection committee is convinced that the existing guidelines are flawed." CoA delegate and selection committee chairperson S D Mudgil told PTI.
"However, Archana Kamath is one half of the doubles pair (Manika Batra being the other) that is ranked No. 4 in the world and which will be the top seeds at the Commonwealth Games. Therefore, the selection committee feels that this is a case worthy of consideration by SAI,” the CoA spokesperson reasoned.
Men: Sharath Kamal, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, Sanil Shetty, Harmeet Desai
Reserve: Manush Shah
Women: Manika Batra, Archana Kamath, Sreeja Akula, Reeth Rishya
Reserve: Diya Chitale