19 Mar 2019

Now approaching one year ago, in mid-April, it was unbridled joy for India; at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games; fielding the trio comprising Sharath Kamal Achanta, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Harmeet Desai, at the final expense of Nigeria, the men’s team title was secured.

Alongside Amalraj Anthony who played earlier in proceedings, they are all on duty at the forthcoming Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open; play commences with qualification on Wednesday 20th March.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Later in the year at the Asian Games in Jakarta, there was more success; selecting the same players, bronze was secured in the men’s team event. It was he first ever medal secured by India in the table tennis events at the quadrennial gathering; the sport making its debut in 1958 in Tokyo.

Both events were major confidence boosters, injections of self-belief. Now for the prestigious group, can that form of last year be replicated in Oman?

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.4 seed and Sharath Kamal Achanta, the no.5 seed, both with ITTF World Tour titles to their credit, lead the way; Sathiyan Gnanasekaran won in Belgium in 2016, Sharath Kamal Achanta in Egypt in 2010.

Both are major contenders for honours, as they are as a partnership in the men’s doubles event; silver medallists in the Gold Coast, in Muscat they are the no.3 seeds. Somewhat similarly, Harmeet Desai  enjoyed men’s doubles success in the east coast Australian city. He secured bronze in partnership with Sanil Shetty; in Oman he partners Manav Vikash Thakkar, they are the no.6 seeds.

Direct entries to the main draw in the men’s doubles competition; in the men’s singles, Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar alongside Amalraj Anthony must all compete in the qualification tournament.

It is the same for Mudit Dani, Siddesh Pande, Jeet Chandra, Sudhansu Grover and Utkarsh Gupta, the players who complete the Indian line up in Muscat. Progress through the qualification tournament is the first step.

Challenge Series 2019 Oman Open Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Sharath Kamal Achanta Amalraj Anthony Harmeet Desai

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Day 3 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus, Oman Open