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Former GSTTA secretary Sangtani is no more

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New Delhi, June 29: Haresh Sitaldas Sangtani, former secretary of Gujarat State Table Tennis Association (GSTTA) and a former vice-president of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), breathed his last in Ahmedabad this morning, following a prolonged illness. He, who turned 62 a couple of days ago, is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

 

Haresh Bhai, as he was fondly known, had taken taking table tennis to greater heights in Gujarat, which boasts of current players like Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar, who have represented the country in international tournaments, including major Games, abroad.

 

Sangtani, who retired from service with the Kandala Port Trust just a year back, had envisioned an indoor stadium at Gandhidham, his hometown, soon after taking charge at GSTTA as secretary. No sooner, he was able to realise his dreams as he built an indoor stadium for table tennis, and added facilities like flood-lit tennis and badminton courts to help the players and create a sports culture. So much so, Gandhidham had become a popular destination as it hosted several national ranking tournaments.

 

Sangtani’s popularity did not end there. He was also an able administrator who could get things done with the friendly sports authorities in Gujarat, including in the government. He was also instrumental in hosting both the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in 2015 (Surat) and the ITTF-Asian Cup in 2017 (Ahmedabad).  

 

Mourning his demise, president of TTFI Dushyant Chautala said, “he lost a friend and well-wisher of table tennis and, more importantly, the go-to-man in Gujarat.”

 

“We are saddened by his passing away, it a great loss to the sport (of table tennis),” said Arun Kumar Banerjee, secretary general of TTFI. Echoing his views, former secretary general M.P. Singh said: “He was ailing for quite some time. And we expected him to be back in our midst, hale and hearty. But God had willed otherwise. I have lost a good friend. and colleague”

 

CEO Dharaj Choudhary, who recalled Sangtani’s association with table tennis, especially with TTFI, said that it was a big loss for Gujarat table tennis. “He was in the forefront of promoting the sport, despite his ill-health even after passing the baton (secretaryship). We will all miss his presence and guidance.”

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