Kolkata, June 25 (IANS) An intense battle for semi-final spots is on the cards as the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) gears up for the final leg at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here from Tuesday.
Barring Dabang Smashers, who seem to be better placed with 48 points, the other five teams will have to be at their best in their last matches to avoid missing out on the semi-final spots.
Table tennis fans have responded enthusiastically to the tournament during the Pune and Delhi legs, turning up in large numbers.
They were rewarded with keenly contested matches and sterling performances from Indian stars Manika Batra, Ahyika Mukheree, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, Manav Thakkar and Sanil Shetty.
The Kolkata leg promises to be even more exciting with over Rs 3 crore at stake as prize money. The semi-finals will be played at the NIS on Friday and Saturday, followed by the final on Sunday.
The six teams have one match each left, with favourites Smashers and last year’s finalists Empowerji Challengers beginning the Kolkata proceedings on Tuesday.
The Smashers have been in tremendous form, winning three out of their four ties. The Simon Gauzy-led Challengers, on the other hand, have won only one tie, making their task that much tougher.