UTT 2024 player draft to be held on July 10 in Mumbai

UTT 2024 player draft to be held on July 10 in Mumbai

The player draft for the upcoming edition of the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) 2024 will be held in Mumbai on July 10. The player draft will be led by some of the big names in the world of table tennis, including world no. 10 Bernadette Szocs of Romania, rising Indian paddler Sreeja Akula, who is ranked 24 in the world, Nigeria’s ace player Quadri Aruna, and Germany’s Nina Mittelham.

A total of 47 players, including eight foreign players (four men and four women), will look up to fill the available 43 slots in eight teams.

Other Indian paddlers who will be a part of the players draft are Asian Games doubles bronze medallists Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee, along with upcoming players Yashaswini Ghorpade, Diya Chitale, Poymantee Baisya, Taneesha Kotecha Snehit SFR, Jeet Chandra, Manush Shah and Yashansh Malik.

Some of the other well known foreign players are 2024 World Team Table Tennis Championships silver medallists Jules Rolland and Lilian Bardet of France, four-time Olympian and 2015 European Championships doubles gold medallist Joao Monteiro of Portugal, 2019 World Championships doubles silver medallist Alvaro Robles of Spain and South Korea’s World No. 70 Cho Seungmin.

Among the foreign women players, Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut, who played an important role in helping Goa Challengers clinch the title last year, Sakura Mori, Lily Zhang and Orawan Paranang will be part of the player draft.

Puneri Paltan Table Tennis, who did not retain a player, and two new teams — Jaipur Patriots and Ahmedabad SG Pipers — will open the draft. All eight teams will be in action from the second round and each franchise will have to form a six-member squad, comprising one foreign male and female player and two Indian male and female players.

The upcoming edition of the UTT will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai from August 22 to September 7.

Star Indian paddlers Achanta Sharath Kamal (Chennai Lions), G Sathiyan (Dabang Delhi TTC), Harmeet Desai (Goa Challengers), Manav Thakkar (U Mumba TT) and Manika Batra (PBG Bengaluru Smashers) have been retained by their respective franchises for the upcoming season.

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