Achanta Sharath Kamal, the highest ranked India paddler in the world, will be leading the home challenge at the 19th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships, which gets underway at the Thyagaraj Stadium from today.
The squad comprising Soumy-ajit Ghosh, Anthony Amalraj, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty, the men have been drawn in Group B with Australia and South Africa. In the women's category, it will be K Shamini, Mouma Das, Madhurika Patkar and Neha Agarwal. The hosts are in Group C with Canada and Sri Lanka.
Sharath, who has played for clubs like TSV Graefelfing and SV Werder Bremen in the German Major League, recently signed a one-year contract with the top-ranked Borussia Dusseld-orf and will play alongside the top-seeded German, Timo Boll, from July. “The German league is one of the best and it has been a great learning experience. They maintain a high level of professionalism combined with quality coaching," said Sharath.
Kamlesh Mehta, coach of the men's team, is confident of a good performance. “The boys had a good 17-day training stint in Sweden with sparring partners of different hues," he said.