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International Table Tennis Federation rankings as of March 2020 stays

Paddlers await decision on points earned this month

The International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) decision on Sunday to freeze the rankings as of March 2020 (only points awarded for events held until February will be taken into consideration) due to COVID-19 has many paddlers questioning the fate of tournaments that took place this month.

The ITTF decided, among other things, on the “suspension of all currently planned events and activities that involve international travel until June 30 and freezing of ITTF rankings lists as of March 2020 and further evaluations of all implications related to the postponement of events, travel restrictions and other complications with scope for further decisions on potentially necessary adjustments.”

Sharath Kamal, who won his first title in a decade at the Oman Open ITTF Challenge Plus (March 11 to 15), is keeping his fingers crossed. The 37-year-old said he is hopeful that his 1100 points will be added when the rankings list is released.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Monday, Sharath said: “Will the ITTF add my Oman Open ranking points? [Indian paddler] G. Sathiyan believes they will. If the ITTF includes my points in the rankings [which were supposed to be released in April], I will be in the top 30.” He is now ranked 38.

No clarity

With the Hong Kong Open and China Open in May being cancelled/postponed and the Korea Open and Australia Open not happening in June, Sharath said there was no clarity on when the rankings will be released.

“I hope I don’t lose the points I got by winning the Oman Open,” he said.

Harmeet Desai, the reigning Commonwealth champion who reached the semifinals at Oman, is hoping against hope that he will get his 715 ranking points. “I hope we don’t lose our points,” he said.

In response to Harmeet’s query about the points, ITTF World ranking manager Javier Angulo Luceron said: “the executive committee’s decision was to freeze the ranking as it is due to complications we had in March events [some nations couldn’t participate due to the pandemic, and the Polish Open Challenge Plus was suspended midway on March 13]. Nonetheless, the points achieved will be added and count[ed] once a decision is made about what to do with the problematic events,” he said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:42:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/international-table-tennis-federation-rankings-as-of-march-2020-stays/article31211742.ece

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