The tourney to be held from September 4 to 9
For the second time East Godavari District will see top Indian table tennis players in action for six days at Kakinada as the port town is all set to host the first national ranking tournament of Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) from September 4 to 9. Earlier, Rajahmundry played to host to a national event in 2011.
Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) and its physical director Shyam deserve full marks for they have spruced up a world-class hall at the campus, accommodating ten tables.
“The hall surrounded by greenery is feast to the eyes. With perfect lighting, flooring and 18 air-conditioned rooms, JNTU can stake its claim to host an international event too,” felt Andhra Pradesh Table Tennis Association (APTTA) secretary S.M. Sultan. East Godavari is having its long association with Indian table tennis and the role of Maharaja of Pithapuram in promoting the sport is laudable.
In fact the men’s singles winner’s trophy in the Senior Nationals is named after the Maharaja.
Players like two-time Olympian Sharat Kamal (a native of Rajahmundry), Anthony Amalraj, Soumajit Ghosh, Shamini, Poulami Ghatak and Karnam Spoorthy will be seen in action.
“All top players will come as they would be keen to kick- start the domestic season with an intention to bag more points. Korean coach Jong Son An along with 60 technical officials will also be present,” said APTTA president V. Bhaskar Ram, under whose guidance the tournament is organised at Kakinada.
Mr. Ram said that the prize money would be Rs. 6 lakh for all 10 events – cadet (boys and girls), sub junior (boys and girls), junior (boys and girls) youth (boys and girls), men and women. But the organisers are keeping their fingers crossed as the Samaikyandhra agitation is intensifying everyday.
“The prestige of the State association is at stake as it is a national event and any untoward incident might cripple the proceedings. We will take a final call about the venue on August 20 for the benefit of the players from all over the country. We need to convey the change (if any) well advance to help them make their travel plans,” Sultan added.