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Can Indian Table Tennis teams still qualify for Paris Olympics 2024?

Published at :February 23, 2024 at 11:09 PM
Modified at :March 4, 2024 at 6:45 PM
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Ajay Gandhar

India failed to secure direct qualification.

India’s hopes of securing team quotas for Paris Olympics 2024 at the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships took a dent after both the men’s and women’s teams bowed out from the round of 16 stage of the competition. But not all is lost.

The championships offered the opportunity for players to earn individual ranking points as well as direct qualification to Paris Olympics 2024 for teams making it to the quarterfinals.

The Indian teams had a spectacular run en route to the pre-quarters. However, they faced a tough challenge in the pre-quarterfinals, as both teams lost to higher-ranked opponents. The men’s team, led by veteran Sharath Kamal was blanked 3-0 by the hosts Korea in round of 16 stage. The women’s team, led by star player Manika Batra, who had medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, put up a brave fight against Chinese Taipei but lost 1-3.

Despite the losses, the Indian teams are one of the favourites to qualify Paris Olympics via the world ranking route. The official confirmation will be announced on March 4, but as per calculations, both teams have made the cut to Paris Olympics.

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How can Indian Table Tennis teams still qualify for Paris Olympics?

India’s hopes of qualifying for the Paris Olympics in table tennis are still alive, despite losing in the pre-quarterfinals of the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Busan. The top 16 teams qualify for the Olympics in team events.

India can secure one of the three remaining spots in the men’s team events and one of four in the women’s team events through the ranking route, as the highest-ranked NOC (not already qualified) in the March 2024 World Team Ranking will earn a team quota place.

India currently ranks 15th in the men’s team event and 17th in the women’s team event, according to the February 2024 World Team Ranking. With India women set to gain points, it puts them in a favorable position with some of the teams above them already booking their tickets to Paris either through the continental quota or as the host nation.

For example, China, Germany, and France are among the women’s teams that have qualified, while China and France are among the men’s teams that have qualified.

India’s chances of qualifying also improved as they reached the Round of 16 in Busan, where they faced tough opponents like Chinese Taipei and Korea. This gave them valuable points and experience, which could help them in the upcoming tournaments. India also benefited from the early exits of some of their rivals, such as Kazakhstan, and England who failed to make it to the pre-quarterfinals in Busan.

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