NEW DELHI: The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) plans for holding nationals in all age categories in the first week of January will be delayed as most state associations are yet to complete their own championships.
The TTFI had advised state units to complete district and state championships as far as possible by December 15. But with the Covid-19 situation, most units have not been able to do that. They have unofficially been granted time till the end of this year to stage the competitions.
Only after the states complete these events, can the TTFI begin talks with SAI. After that, they will approach local authorities for permission to host the nationals. Indore and Sonepat have been identified as venues.
"Hopefully, by February, we can start. It has been a difficult time and it is understandable that states are facing problems. Permission, rising number of cases and financial issues, there are many problems. Only after they send in the entries can we start talks with SAI. The deadline is March, after which a new ACTC will come into effect. International events might restart as well," a TTFI source said.
The number of states who have conducted their championships remains in single digits.
Sonepat is likely to the venue for the senior nationals after it successfully hosted the national camp for 42 days. The schedule is expected to begin with the juniors and the youngest age category will be hosted last, as safety remains the priority.
This delay will also affect a few of India's elite paddlers. Both Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan had plans to play in foreign leagues.
Sharath's initial plan to play in the Champions League did not work out due to visa issues, but he wants to play and train in Germany.
For Sathiyan, the second phase of Japanese league and Polish league knockouts will be scheduled during that time. Clarity with regards to nationals will help them.
It is understandable that dates cannot be confirmed now. The situation is taking a toll but a tentative plan is necessary soon, so that players can plan their calendars, Shararth and Sathiyan said.