Paddlers finish 42-day TT camp on a high

The 42-day Senior National Table Tennis camp came to an end at Delhi Public School in Sonepat on Tuesday. The players were satisfied after training intensely for the first time since the COVID-19-induced break from March.

The Indian team’s torchbearer Sharath Kamal said the switch to match-mode was quick. “It was nice to play again after a while and to get back into the groove. We had morning and evening sessions and some days devoted to fitness and gym. Certainly, the COVID break wasn’t good in any way for us. It was great sparring with Manav [Thakkar], Jeet [Chandra] and Sudanshu Grover. We got into the match mode pretty quickly we are hoping that competitions will start sooner than later,” Sharath told Sportstar on Tuesday.

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Sharath revealed that Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has lined up the National Championships, cadets to seniors, from the end of January in two venues – DPS Sonepat (Haryana) and Abhay Prashal Indoor Stadium (Indore). “I think the Senior Nationals might be in Sonepat in February 2021,” he said.

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Twenty-year-old Manav Thakkar came out stronger from the camp, too. “It was not easy on the part of TTFI and Sports Authority of India (SAI) to organise a camp in this situation. But they did a wonderful job. Everyone gave their 100 per cent. From day one to day 40, we saw a huge difference in our game. Sharath bhaiya guided us very well,” said Manav, who is aiming to bag his maiden Senior National crown after having reached the final in the last edition in Hyderabad.

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