Swift start for Ankita Das, Shamini Kumaresan at TT nationals

Former champions recorded wins in their opening matches in the group stages of the 82nd Senior National Table Tennis Championships on Monday.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by 2014 Getty Images

Former champions Ankita Das and Shamini Kumaresan put a fine show to take a step closer to making the main draw of the women’s singles event at the 82nd Senior National Table Tennis Championships that got underway on Monday.

At the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula, the Indian table tennis players barely broke a sweat to register their opening wins in the group stages.

Clubbed in Group 1 in the qualifying stages, 2012 London Olympian Ankita Das registered a 3-1 win -- 6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 -- over Ananya Dubey of Chhattisgarh.

The 27-year-old Ankita Das will take on Seema Kumari of Bihar on Tuesday, with a win guaranteeing her a place in the main draw.

Shamini Kumaresan, meanwhile, enjoyed a straightforward match against Odisha's Yoshita Jammula with an 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 win putting her in good stead to make the main draw.

The silver medallist from the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Shamini Kumaresan, will take on Delhi’s Lakshita Narang in her final match of the qualifying round next.

The 82nd edition of the Senior National Table Tennis Championships is being held in a biosecure hub with the event seeing competitions in just the singles category this time.

The women’s event that began on Monday has over 150 entries with the top 16, based on the combined national and international rankings, gaining direct entry into the main draw.

The remaining table tennis players are divided into 48 groups of four athletes with each playing the other once in a round-robin format. The group topper at the end of the qualifiers will qualify for the main draw.

Indian table tennis star Manika Batra is the top-ranked player in the mix, while others eyeing the crown includes defending champion Sutritha Mukherjee among others.

Top-8 women's rankings: 1. Manika Batra (PSPB), 2. Sutirtha Mukherjee (Har), 3. Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI), 4. Sreeja Akula (RBI), 5. Krittwika Sinha Roy (PSPB), 6. Anusha Kutumbale (TTFI), 7. Prapti Sen (Ben ‘A’), 8. Kaushani Nath (RSPB).