Indian Table Tennis star Sharath Kamal has been ruled out of the men's singles event of the 84th UTT Inter-State Senior National Table Tennis Championships. Kamal, the defending champion of the tournament has been dealing with recurring back and calf spasms over the past few months.
Sharath is a 10-time national champion and took this decision as he wants to be cautious and continue the rehab ahead of the World Championships in Durban in May. The Worlds in South Africa are scheduled to take place in the month of May and hence Kamal needs time to recover.
The 40-year-old released a statement, quoted by PTI saying, "The Worlds in May last week is my focus, and I want to prepare well for the big event. Most importantly, I don't want to aggravate the situation. I am going straight to rehab and concentrate just on the Durban Worlds."
In Sharath Kamal’s absence, G. Sathiyan emerges as one of the favourites to win it all in Jammu. The top 16 seeded players in the men's section and eight in the women's category will kick off the singles event on Saturday with the second stage draw. The tournament has a prize pool of Rs. 16 lakh.
Top-seeded players in 84th UTT Senior National Table Tennis Championships are:
Men: G. Sathiyan, Manush Shah, Harmeet Desai, Manav Thakkar, Sanil Shetty, Anirban Ghosh, Sudhanshu Grover, Jeet Chandra, SFR Snehit, Soumyajit Ghosh, Anthony Amalraj, Ronit Bhanja, Payas Jain, Deepit R. Patil, Yashansh Malik and Subh Goel.
Women: Manika Batra, Sreeja Akula, Reeth Rishya, Diya Chitale, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Anusha Kutumbale, Swastika Ghosh and Prapti Sen.
Download SportsTiger app for the latest sports news and updates