Lucknow, May 23 (IANS) When it comes to table tennis in the country, states from the Eastern part of the country have hogged the spotlight with emerging talents under focus.
The trend has continued even in new events like Khelo India University Games, which have revived the sports at the varsity level.
With universities running after the QS world rankings, the academic institutions have not only pushed sports to the back seat, but the number of players looking at it as a career option, too, has dwindled over the years.
Under the circumstances, the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) has breathed fresh life into various disciplines reviving sports in colleges and universities and boosting the morale of the sportspersons to some extent.
With support from the central and state governments, the Games have gained in popularity, and the third edition of the Khelo India University Games kick off in all the disciplines for the first time in Uttar Pradesh across four cities.
Table tennis events of the Games, getting underway at the BBD Badminton Hall here on Wednesday, are vital for the 32 teams that will vie for the coveted titles in the men’s and women’s team championships.
Sixteen top universities in each section will compete and be ranked based on how they finished in the last edition in Bengaluru. However, the domination of East — Adamas University, University of North Bengal, Mizoram University, and Lalit Narayan Mithila University — is tangible in the men’s category.
However, one could see two universities in the North figuring among the top four in the women’s section — Chandigarh University and Chitkara University — placed No.2 and No.3 behind Adamas University from West Bengal. Jadavpur University, also from the East, is ranked fourth.
These teams in either category will lead each of the four groups while the rest follow them in the zig-zag format to complete the group draws, said Competition Manager N. Ganeshan.
It also means that most universities will have their tasks cut out, and they will have to work hard to upstage the other two teams in the group to qualify for the first-stage league. Two teams from each group will enter the second stage, played in a knockout format.
The quarterfinals and semifinals in both categories will begin on May 26, and the finals on the last day of the championships.
Group A: Chitkara University, SRM University, Adamas University, Savitribai Phule University.
Group B: Chandigarh University, Mizoram University, SAGE University, VELS University.
Group C: University of North Bengal, University of Madras, University of Mumbai, Punjabi University.
Group D: Osmania University, Gujarat University, Lalit Narayan Mithila University, University of Delhi.
Group A: Chitkara University, University of Madras, Lalit Narayan Mithila University, University of Rajasthan.
Group B: SRM University, University of Delhi, Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji University, Jadavpur University.
Group C: University of Calcutta, Osmania University, Chandigarh University, Savitribai Phule University.
Group D: Jain University, Panjab University, Adams University, Shreemati Nathibai Damodar University.