The stage is set for the high-voltage table tennis action as IndianOil Ultimate Table Tennis Season 4, powered by DafaNews, begins on Thursday at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge-Balewadi here.
The franchise-based league, promoted by Niraj Bajaj and Vita Dani under the auspices of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), has been a game-changer for Indian table tennis since its inception in 2017 and will look to achieve success in its fourth season as well.
A total of 36 players, including 12 international players, will engage in thrilling action over a period of 18 days in the IndianOil Ultimate Table Tennis Season 4. Among them, 14 paddlers have played in the Olympics, while nine players have showcased their strengths in the Commonwealth Games.
Defending champions Chennai Lions will begin their title defence against Puneri Paltan Table Tennis in the opening fixture of Season 4, which will go on till July 30. Chennai Lions’ challenge will be spearheaded by ace Indian paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal.
“We are delighted that the IndianOil Ultimate Table Tennis is back with Season 4. All of us are ready to see some top table tennis action as UTT makes the game really exciting. A lot of young players also get to be a part of it which is a really great thing for Indian table tennis,” commented Sharath Kamal during the pre-season press conference here in Pune.
On the other hand, Puneri Paltan Table Tennis paddler Hana Matelova is also excited to play in India and wants to give her best to take the franchise to new heights this season.
Matelova stated, “It’s an honour to be a part of the UTT family again and I would like to continue the way I performed in UTT Season 2. I am looking forward to play with my teammates and we will try to go as far as possible in the tournament.”
India star Manika Batra is also a key attraction of Season 4 and will represent Bengaluru Smashers.
“I am really excited to play in the UTT this season. There are a lot of new faces in the league in Season 4 and it will be a thrilling experience to play with them as all of them are really talented. Bengaluru Smashers will give their best in every tie,” commented Batra.
Dabang Delhi TTC’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran said, “I have been a part of Dabang Delhi TTC for all the seasons of UTT and to be back here again with the team feels like a homecoming. The league has played a tremendous role in nurturing Indian talent because when I played my first I was a young boy and now I am a regular player for India in the international circuit. So, it’s a great opportunity for everyone and we are looking forward to Season 4.”
“It’s a big effort from UTT and Indian table tennis to organize such a big tournament as it provides a perfect platform for players to showcase their talent. It’s very useful for all of us and I am looking forward to play in the UTT season 4 with my amazing teammates,” commented Goa Challengers’ Alvaro Robles.
U Mumba TT’s Lily Zhang is also enthralled to play in India and believes that IndianOil Ultimate
Table Tennis Season 4 will put Indian table tennis on the world map.
“I am super excited to be here in India again and play some really good tennis. I played here in Season 2 and it feels great UTT is back again this time with new faces. The team spirit and environment in this competition are really good and I am looking forward to all the enthralling
table tennis action,” concluded Zhang.
All the Season 4 ties will start at 7.30 PM with broadcast on Sports 18 and streamed on JioCinema.