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First TT global show in Siliguri

- Players from 15 countries to participate

Siliguri, Sept. 4: Siliguri will host north Bengal’s first international table tennis tournament at the indoor stadium from October 10 to 14.

Around 200 players and officials from 15 countries will take part in the championship organised by the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), the apex body for the sport in the country.

“The TTFI is going to organise the Global Junior and Youth India Cup International TT Tournament here in association with the North Bengal Table Tennis Association. This will be the first international TT event in the region where more than 150 paddlers in age groups of under-15 and under-18 and 50 officials from 15 countries will participate,” said north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb.

Deb is also the chief patron of the championship.

He added that the total prize money for the tournament would be Rs 5 lakh.

“All the matches will be played at the indoor stadium here. The players will arrive in Siliguri at least three days ahead of the tournament and take part in practice sessions. The tourney will be played on 12 tables at the indoor stadium,” Deb said.

Siliguri has produced ace table tennis players like Arjuna awardees Mantu Ghosh and Suvajit Saha.

Soumyajit Ghosh and Ankita Das, who represented India at the London Olympics, also hail from Siliguri.

Mantu Ghosh, the joint secretary of the TTFI and the chief of the North Bengal Table Tennis Association, said they were gearing up for the tournament.

“It is going to be a tough task for us as we are going to organise an international TT championship for the first time in Siliguri. A lot of preparations are required for hosting such a big event. We are, however, hopeful of delivering our best to make the tourney a success,” she said.

According to the organisers, around Rs 50 lakh would be spent for the championship.

Siliguri has hosted senior and junior national-level TT championships in the past.