Ma Long leads star-studded field for WTT Star Contender Goa

Panaji, 7 Feb: Reigning Olympic champions Ma Long and Chen Meng from China will be among a galaxy of stars to visit India for the World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender Goa from February 27 to March 5.
The 34-year-old Ma, widely regarded as the best to have ever played the game, is a two-time Olympic champion and will also have his countryman and rival Fan Zhendong, the current world champion and world number one, for company in the men’s singles.
Veteran Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnansekaran will lead the Indian challenge.
Among other leading lights of the men’s game, world number four Tomakazu Harimoto of Japan and world number six Truls Moregard of Sweden, world number eight Lin Yun-Ju from Chinese Taipei and world number nine Darko Jorgic from Slovenia will also be seen in action.
In the women’s section, besides Chen, her countrywoman and world number one Sun Yingsha has also confirmed participation along with world number five Hina Hayata of Japan, world number eight Kasumi Ishikawa from Japan, world number nine Doo Hoi Kem from Hong Kong, China and world number 10 Ying Han from Germany.
Also trying to give them a run for their money on home turf will be the India number one and world number 34 Manika Batra.
Expressing her views on the WTT Star Contender Goa, Manika said, “Playing my first World Table Tennis event in Goa is going to be a great experience. It is always a great honour to play in front of a home crowd, and I can’t wait to hear them cheering us all on. We hope to make them proud.”
Sathiyan added: “I am excited to be playing my first WTT Series event in India. The field is incredibly strong, so all the matches are going to be tough. I hope as many fans as possible will come and support us in Goa.” (PTI)