" Players like Soumyajit Ghosh, Sanil Shetty, A. Amalraj and Harmeet Desai in the men's category and Ankita Das, Manika Batra and Madhurika Patkar in the women's section will be vying for top honours both for their institutions and states besides individually trying to prove their points."
New Delhi, Aug 16 - The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) like in the past has received top billing in all four team events - men, women, youth boys and youth girls - of the AAI 44th Inter-Institutional Table Tennis Championships being held at the Thyagraj Stadium here Aug 17-22.

Based on last year's performance, the Railway Sports Promotion Board's (RSPB) men have grimly held on to the second spot behind PSPB while the Airports Authority of India's (AAI) women are seeded second. Similarly, the hosts' investment in Youth Boys and Girls have paid dividends as they have retained the second spots in the two sections.

The championships will yet again see country's top paddlers, except A. Sharath Kamal and K. Shamini, competing first in team events before locking horns for individual glory from the fourth day.

The draws for the team championships were here held under the supervision of Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) secretary general D.R. Choudhary.

With 18 institutions having entered the championships as many men's teams and 12 in women's section have been divided into six and four groups, respectively, to play the first stage. Only two teams from each group will qualify for the second stage.

Incidentally, the championships being the selection event for the Senior Inter-State and National Championships, to be held at Pondicherry in January 2015, only two top teams in both the events will qualify for the nationals.

With just five teams each competing in the Youth Boys and Girls, it will be a round-robin league affair with the top team from both categories qualifying for the Junior and Youth Inter-State National Championships to be held at Alleppey between Nov 25-30.

The individual events which follow the team championships will also see the participation of players from different states, apart from institutions.

Players like Soumyajit Ghosh, Sanil Shetty, A. Amalraj and Harmeet Desai in the men's category and Ankita Das, Manika Batra and Madhurika Patkar in the women's section will be vying for top honours both for their institutions and states besides individually trying to prove their points.

In the normal course, the championships carry a total prize purse of Rs.3.32 lakh with the top eight men and women sharing the spoils. However, the hosts AAI have decided to give away prize money to the tune of Rs.75,000 for the doubles events as well-the winners of men's doubles, women doubles and mixed doubles each getting Rs.25,000 each.


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