JAIPUR: Table Tennis giants China have made a few changes in their squad for the Asian Cup to be held here from March 13 to 15 at the Sawai Man Singh Indoor Stadium.
With the preparation in full swing for the big event, the Asian Table Tennis Union (ATTU) has finalised the list of players that will be competing in the championship.
The Chinese have made a couple of changes to players in both the men’s and women’s section. However men's world number one Xu Xin is all to set enthrall fans in India.
Ma Long, the No.2 ranked player in the world, as well as Olympic silver medal winner Ding Ning would be missed but they have been replaced by equally talented youngsters in Fan Zhendong, ranked three, and second ranked Zhu Yuling.
The 18-year-old Fan and the 20-year-old Zhu are no strangers to India and have won the singles titles at the World Junior Championships in Hyderabad in 2012.
The two youngsters who have immense potential, might be too hot for the rest of the players in fray to handle.
But for these two players, all the other countries have stuck to the original list of players they had sent to both the ATTU and the organisers, said TTFI secretary-general Dhanraj Choudhary.
Talking on the preparation of Indian paddlers, the secretary-general said that they will undergo a short camp at Jaipur to get the feel of the venue here.
“We expect them to be here by the middle of the second week in March after a week’s training session at Patiala.
"Sharath Kamal will go to Patiala and join the other members and train with them,” said Choudhary.
The TTFI official also said the four Indian paddlers will go through a training stint under the strict vigil of eight-time national champion Kamlesh Mehta (men's coach) and Bhawani Mukherjee (women's coach) at the SMS Indoor Stadium.
The players and the coaches will be arriving in the city five days prior to the championships, he added.
Following is the complete list of players in both the sections as confirmed by the ATTU:
Xu Xin and Fan Zhengdong (China),
Jun Mizutani and Koki Niwa (Japan),
Chih Yuan and Chien An Chen (Taipei),
Gao Ning and Yang Zi (Singapore),
Joo Se Hyuk and Kim Min Seok (Korea),
Tang Peng and Jiang Tianyi (Hong Kong),
Sharath Kamal and Soumyajit Ghosh (India),
Ali Omar Ahmed (Yemen) and Noshad Alamyan (Iran).
Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling (China),
Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu (Singapore),
Kasumi Ishkawa and Ai Fukuhara (Japan),
Seo Hyowon and Yang Haeun (Korea),
Lee Ho Ching and Doo Hoi Kem (Hong Kong),
Cheng I Ching (Taipei),
Poulami Ghatak and Mouma Das (India),
Nathana Komwong (Thailand),
Aia Mohamed (Qatar) and Neda Shahsavari (Iran).