13 Mar 2021: Table Tennis: Indian paddlers eye Olympic qualification in Doha event
As many as nine qualification spots for the Tokyo Olympics will be up for grabs when the World Singles Qualification Tournament gets underway at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena in Doha, Qatar between March 14-17, 2021.
Notably, the quotas for the tournament were confirmed following the latest update of the 2021 calendar and current planning of pending qualification events.
Here is more.
Participants: A look at the Indian participants
For India, world number 63 Manika Batra and world number 96 Sutirtha Mukherjee will be taking part in the women's competition.
Meanwhile, Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will participate in the men's competition.
Notably, Batra and Gnanasekaran recently won the Indian national championships.
Thy will now hope to seal a slot for the all-important Tokyo Olympics.
Format (men): For spots available for men
A total of three spots will be available for qualification in stage one. The entries will be split into three knockout rounds.
The winner of each knockout round will qualify for the singles event at Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, the runner-up and losing semi-finalists from each rounds will then be drawn into one final knockout round (stage two).
The winner will secure the Olympics berth.
Format (women): Five spots available for women
Four spots are available for qualification in stage one. The entries will be split into four knockouts.
The winner of each knockout round will qualify for the singles event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, the runner-up and losing semi-finalists from each rounds will be drawn into one final knockout round (stage two).
The final winner here will qualify for the Olympics (singles).
Fact: Will the Indian contingent bounce back?
India's men's and women's teams had crashed out of the qualification tournament that was held in January 2020. If the Indian contingent doesn't fare well this time too, their qualification will depend on how they perform in the Asian Olympic qualification tournament (March 18-20).