Event Section
Record-high team entries for Shillong Nationals
TTFI shifts to the computerised draw phase


New Delhi, April 7: An unprecedented number of teams will participate in the 83rd Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships, beginning in Shillong, Meghalaya, from April 18, as the draws for the team championships, singles, and doubles events were held electronically for the first time here today.


Thirty-eight men’s and 35 women’s teams have entered the fray, the largest ever in the history of Senior Nationals. The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) and the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) are the two institutional teams that made the cut as title winners of the 2019 edition. The performance of teams at the Hyderabad Nationals became the yardstick to consider seeding.


The draws, using new software, were held by Justice Mukul Mudgal (Retd) through a click of the mouse button at his residence in the presence of chairperson Justice Gita Mittal (Retd), S.D. Mudgil—the members of the Committee of Administrators (CoA)— manager S.K.Tandon, chief national coach Manjit Singh Dua, competition manager N. Ganeshan, chief referee A.S. Kler and other officials of the Table Tennis Federation of India. Chetan Mittal, the third member of CoA, joined the meeting from Chandigarh. Top players of the country, who will be competing in the Nationals, also joined the live draw ceremony.



Addressing the players, the chairperson wished all the participants the best of luck, adding that the CoA has introduced the computerised system of draws for absolute transparency. “The system we have put in place will be the norms for all events henceforth,” she said. Justice Mudgil, the chief of the FIFA Governance Committee, while inaugurating the process of the draw, stressed the importance of transparency in sports and appreciated the efforts of the CoA in addressing the issue.


As for the singles events, of the 307 men and 243 women competing in the championships, the top 16 in the men’s section and eight in women have been given direct entry into the main draw. But for seeding, the top-50 world ranking was fixed as the benchmark. Only three players—A. Sharath Kamal (No. 38), G. Sathiyan (39) and Manika Batra(48)—met the criteria and have been seeded No. 1 and 2 (men) and No. 1 (women) accordingly.  


Dia Chitale got lucky as Justice Mudgal drew in her favour to place her at the No. 2 spot in the seeding list, behind Reeth Rishya and Sreeja Akula. All the three players are jointly second in national ranking points (225).


The entries in men’s and women’s doubles have been limited to two per team, per gender for states and the institutions one each, as has been the practice.  However, in mixed doubles, four and two pairs, respectively, have been allowed. The paired events will be conducted on a knockout basis.


For the benefit of players, the entire draw, including singles groupings, men’s, women’s and mixed doubles, will be uploaded on the TTFI website.