Road to Tokyo: Table Tennis!

A huge week is coming up in Tokyo 2020 Table Tennis Qualification.

At Tokyo Olympics, Table Tennis will have 5 events: Men’s Team, Women’s Team, Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles.16 teams will qualify for each Men’s and Women’s Team. 64-70 players will enter Men and Women’s Singles event and 16 teams will enter Mixed Doubles event.

Table Tennis was introduced in Olympics at 1988 Seoul Games. India has been represented in Table Tennis at all Olympics. But we never had representation in Team Event. This could change at Tokyo.

All eyes are right now on next week’s World Team Qualification Event.

Let us now look at Team Qualification Process:

There are 16 spots available in team events. 1 spot has been reserved for host nation Japan. 6 spots were available through continental qualification events. And 9 spots are available at the upcoming World Team Qualification event. The World Qualification event will take place in Portugal between 22-26 January. Both Indian Men’s and Women’s team will enter next week’s qualification event. India Men’s team is seeded 5th out of 34 teams and has a very good chance at qualifying. Indian Women’s team is seeded 17th out of 30 teams and has an outside chance of qualification. The draw for the first round of qualification tournament will be out on 20th January.

Here is the Indian Team for World Qualification Event:
Men: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, Manav Thakkar, Anthony Amalraj
Women: Manika Batra, Archana Girish, Madhurika Patkar, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Ayhika Mukherjee

Let us now have a look at Singles Qualification Process:

Having a team qualified has an added advantage in singles qualification as well. Every country qualifying in the team events automatically gets 2 spots in the singles event of the same gender. If a country has not got a team qualified, singles players have to qualify through either one of these routes:
ITTF World Ranking (1 spot is available), Continental Qualification Events (6 spots available at Asian Event), World Singles Qualification Event (2 spots available).

Mixed Doubles Qualification Process:

In Mixed Doubles, 16 pairs will qualify. The mixed doubles qualification is through following routes: Continental Qualification Event, 2019 World Tour Finals, 2020 German Open, 2020 Qatar Open, 2020 Japan Open, ITTF World Ranking.

As per current rankings, India can realistically look at having men’s team qualification, 2 men’s singles spot and a woman’s singles spot. Anything less would be a disappointment. Anything more would be a bonus.

A huge week awaits Indian Table Tennis in Portugal. Let us hope India achieves team qualification spots.

For all you table tennis fans, here is your 2020 Table Tennis Calendar…

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