Jaipur: Defending champions India will have to stave off strong challenge from Singapore to retain the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship which starts on 30 May.
17 nations will slug it out for six days for the eight medals on offer at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur.
In the last edition of the event in Kuala Lumpur, India had created history by winning the men’s team and individual title for the first time.
The trio of Achanta Sharath Kamal, Soumyadeep Roy and Shubhajit Saha were the architect of the glorious win in team event in Kuala Lumpur 2004. Sharath Kamal and Soumyadeep Roy then fought it out for the men’s individual title to make it a memorable outing for the Indian team.
Sharath Kamal went on to crown himself the champion and now will be defending the honour at his home turf.
But India will face stiff challenge from Singapore, Nigeria and Australia.
Singapore’s Gao Ning and Yang Zi, world no 18 and 32 respectively, are certainly the favourites but Sharath Kamal has the firepower to beat his famed rivals.
Sharath Kamal was thrashed by Gao Ning in the Indian Open pro tour in Delhi few months back, but against Yang Zi, the Chennai paddler had his moments of glory on few occasions.
The trio of Sharath Kamal, Saha and Soumyadeep will also take inspiration from their historic Commonwealth Games win last year where they created a major upset by beating favourites Sinagpore in the final to win the gold.