Controversy erupts at CWG 2022 after men's coach sits for Indian women's team's TT match

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Aug 01, 2022, 11:59 PM IST
main img


Story highlights

The Indian table tennis team finds itself in the centre of another controversy after the men's coach was seen sitting with the women's team during their match against Malaysia on Sunday.

The Indian women's table tennis team suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Malaysia in their quarterfinals clash at the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2022 on Sunday (July 31). It was a massive upset as defending champions India went down against an unseeded Malaysian side with some players who aren't even in the world rankings yet.

However, it was not just the defeat as the table tennis team has been garnering the headlines for all the wrong reasons once again. Controversy erupted at the Games on Sunday after men's coach S Raman sat on the courtside during the women's team's match against Malaysia.

While Raman was present on the courtside and was seen guiding Reeth Rishya during her singles match in the quarterfinal, the women's team coach Gayatri Vartak was absent. India lost the semi-final 3-2 against Malaysia in a major upset as they crashed out of the competition. India were defending champions at this year's edition of the Games having defeated Singapore in the 2018 Games to win the elusive gold medal.

The Manika Batra-led side, however, failed to overcome a little-known Malaysian side on Sunday. The semi-final began with the Malaysian doubles pair of Karen Lyne and Li Sian Chang beating Sreeja Akula and Reeth Tennison in the opening doubles game before Batra drew India level at 1-1 by defeating Ying Ho in the singles match.

India's Akula then got the better of Sian Chang in her singles match to hand India a 2-1 lead. However, just when it looked India would seal the semi-final, Malaysia fought back to win their next two matches and beat India 3-2 to progress into the final.

It was a disappointing defeat for the Indian women's team marred with controversy after Raman sat with them during the semi-final. SD Mudgil, a member of the Committee of Administrators that is currently running the suspended Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) said it should not have happened and that he would take up the matter with the team.

"This should not have happened, women's coach should have been guiding the players in the match. I will take this up with the team," Mudgil was quoted as saying by PTI.

This is not the first time the Indian table tennis team has courted controversy as Batra had refused to take the help of the team's coach Soumyadeep Roy during the Tokyo Olympics last year after her personal coach was not sent for the Games. As per a source, the current atmosphere in the Indian TT team is not the best.

"The atmosphere in the team is the not best, let's just say that. The women's coach should have been sitting courtside since she knows more about the players. Don't know why Raman decided to sit instead," a source was quoted as saying by PTI.

(With agency inputs)