East Zone TT gets underway with main draw qualifiers

Aizawl, Nov 14 (IANS) Thirty-two qualifiers in the men’s singles and 24 in the women’s section took their appointed place in their respective groups to enter the main draw of the National Ranking (East Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the R. Dengthuama Multipurpose Indoor Stadium here on Monday.

With most top men’s players opting to stay out of season’s last national ranking event, it was a hassle-free day both for participants and officials.

The real action though begins from Tuesday when eight top ranked players from either section jump into the fray as they have been accorded direct entry into Stage 2.

But even among them, the competition for the title seems to start and end with a few names — top-seed Sanil Shetty and Anthony Amalraj, and Devesh Karia.

The rest notable names — Manav Thakkar, Subhajit Saha, Utkarsh Gupta, Ronit Bhanja and Sudhanshu Grovera — can be expected to make it to the last eight stages, barring any second-round hiccups, as they are sure to get first-round byes in the main draw.

However, the top eight women — top-seeded Suthirtha Mukherjee, Madhurika Patkar, Mousumi Paul, Mouma Das, Ankita Das, Pooja Sahasrabuddhe, Krittwika Sinha Roy and Divya Deshpandea — will not have the luxury of any extra rest as they will straightaway play the 32-player main draw first round on Tuesday.

Along with the Stage 2 rounds of men’s and women’s singles, the Youth Boys and Youth Girls qualification process will start on Tuesday.

–IANS

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