The venue of the National table tennis championships stands changed from Sonepat to Panchkula, near Chandigarh, and the dates advanced to February 15 to 23.
The Table Tennis Federation of India took the decision to advance the dates to give the Indian squad time to reach Doha well in time for the qualifying rounds of the $200,000 WTT Contender Doha beginning on February 28.
The decision to change the venue was taken after considering the availability of adequate number of hotel rooms closer to the Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium at Panchkula.
“We expect the players to report by the evening of February 13 so that we can carry out the Antigen Test and start the women’s event on time on February 15,” said M. P. Singh, secretary of the TTFI.
The men’s event will be from February 19. The competitions, only in singles, in each category will last three and half days. As per the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the Government, only
those players whose matches are scheduled, coaches, officials and covering media will be allowed in the playing hall.
Meanwhile, the National cadet and sub-junior championship is due to start at Indore from February 18. However, the host has requested the TTFI to reschedule the event by a day or two, citing accommodation-related issues on February 17.
Initially, Indore was to hold the National Youth and Junior championship. Since several youth and junior players play the senior National championship, it was decided not to deny them a chance to participate.
Therefore, the National cadet and sub-junior event was offered to Indore so that it could be accommodated concurrently on the dates overlapping with the National championship at Panchkula.
As a result, the National Youth and Junior championship will move to Sonipat in March.
“We hope the farmers’ issues will get sorted out by then and our players do not face any inconvenience when they travel to Sonipat for the National Youth and Junior championship. Nevertheless, we will take the final call depending on the law and order situation in the state,” said Mr. Singh.