Three Indian table tennis players – Anthony Amalraj, Manav Thakkar and Reeth Rishya – will vie for a spot in the main draw of the WTT Star Contender table tennis tournament in Doha. The qualifications are set to start on Monday (September 19), while the main draw, which features some of the best in business, will commence on Wednesday (September 21).
Tamil Nadu table tennis player Anthony Amalraj, seeded eighth in the qualifiers, will get a first-round bye. He will meet the winner of the contest between Afghanistan’s Behrooz Daneshmand, who is one of three Afghanistan players to have been awarded a wild card by the organizers, and Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri.
Manav Thakkar will face off against French table tennis player Abdel-Kader Salifou in the second round, while Mumbai-based table tennis player Reeth Rishya will meet local girl Shouq Abdulla in the first round.
A total of 44 table tennis players will play the qualifying rounds, scheduled to be held on Monday and Tuesday. This includes three Afghanistan players – Mustafa Bakhtiyari, Mohammad Hosseini and Behrooz Daneshmand. The Afghanistan table tennis players were awarded wildcards by organizers for the qualification rounds.
Mustafa Bakhtiyari will face Beh Kun Ting of Singapore in the first qualifying round while Mohammad Hosseini is up against Chinese Taipei’s Sun Chia-hung. Behrooz Daneshmand will play Yuto Kizukuri of Japan in the first round qualifying matches.
Top Indian table tennis stars in main draw
The WTT Star Contender tournament will be held at the Lusail Sports Arena in Doha. The WTT Star Contender table tennis tournament will be the third WTT event in Qatar in 2021 and offers 600 ITTF table tennis world ranking points and a $200,000 prize purse.
In the main draw, top Indian players Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (world rank 38), Harmeet Desai (world rank 71), Archana Girish Kamath (world rank 132) and Sreeja Akula (world rank 143) are in the fray in the men’s and women’s singles categories respectively.
In the men’s doubles, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will team up with Anthony Amalraj while Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar will form a pair. They will be in action in the main draw. In the mixed doubles event, Manav Thakkar will team up with Archana Kamath.