With India no.4 Manush Shah and India no. 5 Manav Thakkar in the team, Gujarat’s is expected to win a medal in the men’s team event. Podium finishes are expected in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles events as well considering Gujarat’s strong field and a stronger past record. Apart from this, local boys Harmeet, Manav and Manush are tipped for individual glory too.
With the experienced Krittwika in the side, the women’s team is expected to put up a good show and grab a team event medal.
The Gujarat team is currently undergoing training in the camp organised by Gujarat State Table Tennis Association (GSTTA) and supported by Sports Authority of Gujarat at Tapti Valley International School in Surat.
However, Harmeet and Manav will join the team on September 15 after finishing their international commitments.
Vipul Mittra IAS, President, GSTTA, is confident that the Gujarat team will come back with a handful of medals. “Our boys and girls have done well in the past. We have a very strong team this time too and playing in front of home crowd will give us the advantage,” Mr Mitra said.
Home-boy Harmeet sounded excited to play in front of the Surti crowd. “We really have a strong and balanced team. All teams will be wary of our strength and we will also have the local crowd support. I feel we have a great chance of winning the gold at the national games,” the 2022 CWG medallist said.
Women’s team captain Krittwika accepted that there are better teams in the fray but the team can turn things around. “On paper, we may not be the best team but this is TT. We are capable of upsetting better teams on our day. Our preparations are going on really well,” she said.
Men’s: Harmeet Desai (SRT) (Captain), Manav Thakkar (SRT), Manush Shah (BRD), Ishaan Hingorani (KCH), Chitrax Bhatt (AHD)
Women’s: Krittwika Sinha Roy (SRT) (Captain), Frenaz Chipia (SRT), Filzah Kadri (SRT), Kausha Bhairapure (AHD), Prathna Parmar (BVN)
Coaches: Hraday Desai (SRT), Bhavin Desai (VLD), Chintan Oza (RJT), Nirja Trivedi (BVN)
Gujarat’s National Games Record
2015 NATIONAL GAMES, KERALA
1 – Gold (Men’s Doubles Harmeet & Devesh Karia)
2 – Silver (Men’s Team & Harmeet in Men’s Singles)
1 – Bronze (Mix Doubles Devesh & Frenaz)
2011 NATIONAL GAMES, RANCHI (JHARKHAND)
1 – Silver (Men’s Team)
2 – Bronze (Women’s Team & Men’s Doubles – Harmeet & Pathik Mehta)
2007 NATIONAL GAMES, GUWAHATI (ASSAM)
2 – Bronze (Men’s Team & Men’s Singles – Pathik Mehta)