As the name goes by, the Ultimate Table Tennis is a championship involving the game of racquet and a ping pong ball. The inaugural edition of this event is gathering a decent pace and will go on until 30th of July. Hop on to get a glimpse of what is in store during this fortnight long gaming extravaganza.
Participating Teams and Players:
With six teams in fray, the battle for the ultimate table tennis champion is going to both interesting and exciting. Especially with the inclusion of best players in the international circuit of the game. Comprising of 48 players (24 male, 24 female) from India around the world (4 each), UTT has much to offer. So let us take a look at the competing teams and their respective players.
Former India international Soumyadeep Roy and Portuguese Francisco Santos are at the helm for Falcons TTC. In Sanil Shetty, they have found an upcoming star. While the West Bengal trio of Arjun Ghosh, Priyadarshini Das, and Sutirtha Mukherjee have plenty of aces up their sleeves. In Wu Yang, the Falcons have one of the biggest names in table tennis within their ranks. While Par Gerell and Liam Pitchford are ones to keep an eye on.
17-year-olds Manav Thakkar and Moumita Dutta are leading the challenge for the Shaze Challengers. But to harness their talent, the Challengers have brought in two excellent coaches – A. Muralidhara Rao and Elena Timina. Though they are not short on the experience front with veteran Mouma Das and foreign men duo of Andrej Gacina and Li Ping. As far as the foreign women are concerned, the Challengers rest their fate in the able hands of Petrissa Solja and Han Ying.
With N Ravichandran and Ilija Lupulesku coaching the side, Dabang Smashers are in safe hands. The talented Indian duo of Anthony Amalraj and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran compliment the veteran partnership of Madhurika Patkar and Mousumi Paul. With Bilenko Tetyana and Kim Song I alongside Marcos Freitas and Kou Lei, the smashers have a formidable lineup for CEAT UTT.
A man that has accolades aplenty, Arup Basak will be the domestic coach for DHFL Maharashtra United, and he will be joined by one of Europe’s finest, Ferenc Kasai. The team has put their faith in youth with Krittwika Roy and Harmeet Desai leading the ranks, while their foreign contingent boasts of the tournament’s highest seed in Wong Chun Ting, who will play alongside Liu Jia with Joao Monteiro and Fu Yu in the foreign spots.
A former head coach for the Junior National Team, Sandeep Gupta will wear the coach’s cap for the Oilmax-Stag Yoddhas alongside former head coach of Slovenia, Vesna Ojstersek. In Manika Batra and Abhishek Yadav, the Yoddhas have two of Indian table tennis’ brightest stars to occupy the domestic spots. While African sensation Aruna Quadri will lead the foreign contingent with Panagiotis Gionis, Hoi Kem Doo, and Polina Mikhailova.
With the dynamic Sachin Shetty and the experienced Peter Engel, RP-SG Mavericks have trusted shoulders to bank on. What is certain is they have the highest-ranked Indian player in Sharath Kamal Achanta leading the way. With him will be rising stars Birdie Boro and Archana Kamath. Tiago Apolonia and Stefan Fegerl will occupy the foreign slots for the Mavericks. Moreover, they also have the magnificence of Sabine Winter and Sofia Polconova to boost their quest for glory.
Ultimate Table Tennis League Format:
Each team will play nine matches in a tie with each match being a best of three games, each of 11 points. The team that wins at least 14 games or more of the total 27 games wins the tie with the top four teams progressing to the playoff rounds.
Mrs. Vita Dani, the chairperson of 11EVEN Sports Pvt. Ltd. is very optimistic about this tournament. UTT aims at revolutionizing the sport of Table Tennis and will work in collaboration with the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) as it attempts to do so. This is the reason why her joint venture with Mr. Niraj Bajaj is promoting UTT.
Talking about the long term goal of this league, she says:
My dream is to see the best Indian talent on the world map of Table Tennis! The vision is to have an Olympic medal for India in Table Tennis at the 2024 Olympics.
Further, she adds that:
As we embark on this journey, we hope to find partners who are as excited about this dream as we are. Let us together aim at changing the landscape of Table Tennis in India.
This league certainly has got the power to bring in massive changes for the Indian table tennis community. Additionally, such tournaments serve as a perfect platform for exposure and experience. Since there’s a lot at stake, I hope this season of the Ultimate Table Tennis is a huge success to bring in table tennis into mainstream media. Kudos to the organizers for bringing out such a fabulous event!