India will be sending a full, four-member table tennis team to the Rio Olympics, which is the maximum allowed, for the first in the Games' history. The National Olympic Committee permits two players to compete in the singles events at the Games. India's four-member squad features veterans Sharath Kamal and Mouma Das; and young talents Soumyajit Ghosh and Manika Batra. This is the best turnout for India at the Olympics since Chetan Baboor, Sujay Ghorpade, Kamlesh Mehta and Niyati Roy-Shah participated for the nation at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.
China, Germany, Korea and Japan are the nations which have dominated the sport in recent years. China are favourites to win the gold medal once again in Rio. Table tennis was first introduced in Olympic Games back in 1988 in Seoul.
Kamal is making his third appearance at the Olympics, following 2004 and 2008. He will be joined in the men's singles by Ghosh, who represented India in London 2012. Mouma Das, who will be appearing in her second Olympics after a 12-year gap, will be playing in the women's singles along with India's top women's player, Manika Batra.
Ghosh and Batra topped their respective groups in the South Asian Olympic qualifiers in Hong Kong to qualify for Rio while Kamal and Das registered wins in the Stage 2 finals of the Asia Olympic Qualification tournament to seal their qualification berths.
India's table tennis squad:
Sharath Kamal Achanta: Men's singles
Soumyajit Ghosh: Men's singles
Mouma Das: Women's singles
Manika Batra: Women's singles
Event dates: 6 to 17 August
Past Olympic record:
India hasn't won an Olympic medal in table tennis so far.
Indian players have never progressed beyond the first round in the women's singles and the second round in the men's singles.
First Published On : Aug 5, 2016 00:08 IST