WTT Star Contender Goa | Ma Long along with five other Chinese stalwarts to skip event
In a surprise move on Sunday, a few top Chinese table tennis players, including Ma Long and Chen Meng have decided to opt out of the WTT Star Contender Goa, a day before the qualifying rounds begin. The prestigious tournament, in its maiden year, is supposed to begin on March 1.
Meanwhile, the other players from China who have withdrawn from the tournament are Wang Chuqin, Sun Yingsha, Wang Manyu, and He Zhuojia. The announcement was made on the WTT official Twitter handle.
"Ma Long, Wang Chuqin, Sun Yingsha, Chen Meng, Wang Manyu and He Zhuojia have withdrawn from WTT Star Contender Goa due to covid and injuries," WTT tweeted. Apart from that, the replacements for these players were also announced -- Liang Jingkun, Lin Gaoyuan, Wang Yidi, and Quan Tianyi will replace Ma Long, Wang Chuqin, Sun Yingsha, and Chen Meng, respectively.
Jia Nan Yuan will come in the place of Wang Manyu, and Chinese Taipei's Liu Hsing-Yin now straight goes to the main draw instead of playing in the qualifier. This in turn could come as a blessing in disguise for the Indian contingent led by the likes of Manika Batra and Sharath Kamal. The other Indians in the fray will be G Sathiyan, Payas Jain, Wesley Do Rosario, Sreeja Akula, Suhana Saini, Harmeet Desai, Manav Thakkar, Archana Kamath, Sanil Shetty, Diya Chitale, and Reeth Tennison.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨— World Table Tennis (@WTTGlobal) February 26, 2023
Ma Long, Wang Chuqin, Sun Yingsha, Chen Meng, Wang Manyu and He Zhuojia have withdrawn from WTT Star Contender Goa due to covid and injuries.
Ma Long, Wang Chuqin, Sun Yingsha and Chen Meng will be replaced (cont’d)#WTTGoa pic.twitter.com/zuvKclysRR