City’s two veteran paddlers – K. Jayaram and Iqbal Mohammad - will be taking off to New Zealand representing India in the world veterans’ table tennis championship to be held at Auckland from May 12 to 17.

This event, held for players above 40 years, will witness around 20 players from Andhra Pradesh, vying for honours in different categories both in men and women segments.

Jayaram, a former Andhra Pradesh singles champion, had already represented India in Germany and Sweden editions and won the first international medal winning the bronze at the Asian championship at Thailand in 2011.

Incidentally, Jayaram had won two bronze medals in the national veterans’ championship and has made six podium finishes in the All India Civil Services tournaments.

“The veteran championship will come handy for us to hone our skills which will be beneficial for imparting to our wards in coaching camps. Many former world table tennis champions will vie for honours,” says Jayaram, who works for AG Audit department.

Jayaram has been playing for 34 years and had played more than 170 tournaments world over and he is the coach of the up and coming Indian paddler Karnam Spoorthy. He was selected on the basis of his performance at the Srinagar Nationals for the Auckland tournament.

Meanwhile, 50-year-old Iqbal Mohammad, a State government employee, was given a wild card and he had already represented India at the Brazil and Sweden editions, He was also the member of the India team that won the bronze medal at the Asian championship at Thailand in 2011. Both the players are honing their skills for two hours daily at DRRMC indoor stadium.

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