Table Tennis: Three Bhutanese table tennis players will take part in the upcoming 2016 India Junior and Cadet Open tournament in Indore, India next month.

Of the three players, Sherub Wangchuk and Thinley Penjore will compete in the junior category and Leki Dorji will take part in the cadet group.

While Sherub and Thinley will be competing in an international competition for the first time, Leki Dorji who represented the country at the 6th Children of Asia International Sports Games in Russia in July earlier this year, is confident of his chances after being placed in the cadet category.

After failing to win a single game in Russia, Leki Dorji is all set to win his first international match for the country. The 15-year-old said that given the age limit in this tournament, he expects to register at least two wins.

“In Russia we were placed against the world seeded players which was of no match,” said Leki Dorji. “This time it’s a different story and I have trained hard for the tournament.”

The three young upcoming players are currently undergoing training under the national head coach, Fumika Miura, at the Department of Youth and Sports (DYS) basement.

After the renovations works began at the national table tennis hall in Thimphu, players didn’t have a proper place to train. As an interim measure, the hall was shifted to the Changlimithang Stadium, which was then again moved to DYS earlier this month.

The players lost valuable practice sessions during this period said the Japanese coach. “However, since all the three participants are regular players they are picking up fast given the limited number of days before the tournament,” said Fumika Miura.

The national head coach said that the quality of the table tennis players have improved over the years and they are adapting to new techniques and skills without much problem. She added that the recent international tournaments have provided the much-needed exposure Bhutanese players need.

“I am expecting our first international win from this tournament,” said Fumika Miura. “I expect them to do better this time since it’s a regional competition. They have trained well.”

Along with the single and doubles competition, the three players will also compete in the team category.

The five-day open tournament that begins from September 7 is organised by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Junior Circuit.

Younten Tshedup