Sharath, Subhajit qualify for ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals
Top paddlers Sharath Kamal and Subhajit Saha have qualified for the season-ending International Table Tennis Federation Pro Tour Grand Finals to be held in Seoul from December 16-19.sports Updated: Dec 02, 2010 17:27 IST
Top paddlers Sharath Kamal and Subhajit Saha have qualified for the season-ending International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Pro Tour Grand Finals to be held in Seoul from December 16-19.
The duo is the first from India to play in the prestigious event since its inception in 1996.
World No.48 Sharath is one of the 16 players to have qualified for the singles event. The Chennai-based player along with Subhajit made the cut for the men's doubles.
The pair, which won the Delhi Commonwealth Games gold, is one of the eight doubles teams to have qualified for the prestigious event.
"This is great news not only for me but also for table tennis in India," said Sharath in a statement on Thursday.
Sharath's entry in Pro Tour Finals can be attributed to a series of consistent performances this year. He won back-to-back US and Egypt Open titles in July which resulted in his rankings catapulting to a career-high 39 from 76. He also made the semi-finals of the Indian Open in June.
The jump in the rankings enabled him to switch to tougher German League from the Spanish.
Sharath will face some stiff competition in Seoul.
Paddlers from South Korea, Japan, Belarus and Germany are likely to dominate the event. However, none of the Chinese have confirmed their participation in the men's singles and doubles category. World no.6 Vladimir Samsonov of Belaurs will be the highest-ranked player in the tournament.
Players who accumulate maximum points from seventeen ITTF Pro Tour events in a calendar year are invited to participate in the Grand Finals. Players have to feature at least six ITTF Pro Tour events or in three continents to qualify for the singles and in the doubles a participation in minimum four events is mandatory.