NEW DELHI: The battlelines have been drawn for the 15th Commonwealth table tennis championship to be held here at the Indira Gandhi indoor stadium from April 14 to 20. Hosts India, clubbed in Group-D, in Stage 1 in both the sections will begin against lowly Maldives in the men's event while their women counterparts will fight it out against Ghana.
In the draw held at a city hotel on Wednesday in the presence of Commonwealth Table Tennis Fedearation technical committee chairman Madhav Singh Chandra and referee A M Lele, beside other ITTF officials, the hosts were drawn in a comparatively tougher group in the women's event while in the men's India play one extra team in their group. The hosts have been seeded fourth in both categories.
England are the top seeds in the men's event, while Singapore lead the women's seedings.
Indian men, spearheaded by Olympian Chetan Baboor, will play New Zealand, Malaysia, Northern Ireland and Maldives in the first round. In the women's show, England will pose a stiff challenge for Poulami Ghatak-led India, besides Canada and Ghana that comprise the group. The top two teams from the four groups will qualify for the knockout stage whose draw will be held on April 15. The finals will be held on April 17.
Defending men's champions England head Group A comprising Wales, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Singapore that lifted the eves' title last year are pitted gainst Australia, Sri Lanka and Scotland.
The Indian paddlers have started arriving in batches and the team is expected to get a feel of the newly-laid floor and tables at the venue by Thursday. In the last edition of the championship, held in Singapore, Indian men had finished fourth while the women finished fifth. Other teams for the biennial meet are expected to shop up by Friday.
Group A: England, Wales, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
Group B: Singapore, Canada, Mauritius, Cyprus.
Group C: Nigeria, Scotland, Austrlaia, Ghana.
Group D: India, New Zealand, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Maldives.
Group A: Singapore, Australia, Sri Lanka, Scotland.
Group B: Malaysia, Nigeria, North Ireland, Mauritius.
Group C: New Zealand, Wales, Pakistan, Maldives.
Group D: India, England, Canada, Ghana.