National champion chickens out of semis | other | Hindustan Times
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National champion chickens out of semis

other Updated: May 08, 2013 02:12 IST

The India women’s table tennis coach, Bhawani Mukherjee, has accused national champion K Shamini of shying away from her responsibilities and has written to the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) after the 24-year-old did not play in the semifinal of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships on Tuesday.

Represented by Mouma Das, Neha Agarwal and Madhurika Patkar, India lost to England 1-3 and had to settle for bronze.

“Shamini did not want to play against higher-ranked players. She told me last night (Monday) at the team meeting that she was low on confidence,” a fuming Mukherjee told HT.

Shamini, ranked 275, was not willing to play against the higher-ranked English opponents, Joanna Parker (135) and Kelly Sibley (225). It was learnt that Shamini did not want to play against Singapore in the quarterfinals as well due to the same reason.

“I was surprised. Why be in the team when you don’t want to play,” asked Mukherjee. “We don’t want such players in the national team. It sends the game-plan for a toss and also affects the morale of the others.” This could mean that Shamini might be dropped from the team for the World Championships in Paris, which begins on May 13. The men’s team, thanks to the heroics of Soumyajit Ghosh, defeated a determined England 3-2 to set up a final date with Singapore.

World No 4 out
London Games bronze medallist Feng Tianwei of Singapore, who is also the highest-ranked player, pulled out of the singles event citing fatigue. Feng, however, will be leading Singapore’s charge in the team final against England on Wednesday.