Gujarat: It is time to dust off any mental cobwebs and rust as the paddlers from the state get ready for the competitive action at the SBI Gujarat & Inter District Table Tennis Championships – 2021 that will be held at the Late M.P. Mittra Indoor Stadium, Haresh Sangtani Sports Complex in Adipur, Gandhidham from August 26.
The Championship, Organized by Gujarat State Table Tennis Association supported by the Sports Authority of Gujarat and Kachchh District Table Tennis Association, will signal the resumption of competitive table tennis in the state after more than a year-long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world.
“I am happy for the restart of the competitive table tennis action in the state. It’s been more than a year and I know it is tough for the players, who are used to a fast-paced action life, to remain out of the competitive sphere,” GSTTA president Mr Vipul Mittra, IAS, said.
“While it is important to have players get back in action, it is also equally important for us to conduct the championship in a safe environment keeping the changing scenario in mind. We are strictly following the safety guidelines and taking all the necessary precautions for the smooth conduct of the tournament. Efforts are also being made to educate the players and the officials about the safety measures and I am sure everyone will cooperate,” Mr Mittra said.
The tournament will see some of the big names in the Gujarat table tennis including ageless Jignesh Jayswal of Bhavnagar along with top seed Kaushal Bhatt, second seed Dhairya Parmar and third seed Chitrax Bhatt of Ahmedabad along with strong contender and local favourite Ishaan Hingorani among others, in the men’s half.
The women’s section will see the state debut of the 2019 Commonwealth Championships women’s doubles gold medallist and India no. 7 in singles Krittwika Sinha Roy, who had switched allegiance to Gujarat and will represent Surat district. She could pose a strong challenge to teammate and indomitable Frenaz Chipia, the top seed. But watch out for the likes of young Filzahfatema Kadri, Bhavya Jayswal and Aafrein Murad, all from Surat, along with Ahmedabad’s Kausha Bhairapure as they too will hope to shine amidst the stars.
Chitrax will also be a favourite for the junior boys’ (U-19) crown while Filzah will square off with the likes of top seed Aafrein and third seed Kausha for the junior girls’ crown.