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|September 14, 2000||
Baboor draws easy rivals in prelims
Former national champion Chetan Baboor was on Thursday drawn to meet unfancied rivals in the men's singles and doubles at the Olympic Games table tennis competition.
The ace paddler, who is into his second Olympics after an early exit in Atlanta four years ago, will have to stave off the challenge from Petr Korbel of the Czech Republic and New Zealand's Peter Jackson in the preliminary group C to make it to the main draw.
The India No. 1 is partnering national champion S Raman in the men's doubles, where the duo will be up against the Dutch pair of Danny Heister-Trinko Keen and the Nigerian combination of Segun Toriola-Kazeem in its quest to get into the 16-team main draw.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Baboor, ranked 82nd in the world, who won a match and lost two in the preliminary rounds in Atlanta, hopes to make best of the draw as Korbel and Jackson do not seem to be much of a threat to his aspirations.
Should Baboor get into the main draw, he will be up against a formidable opponent, former World champion Jean-Phileppe Gatien of France, in the second round, starting on September 21.
Going by the current form of Commonwealth championship gold medallists Raman and Baboor, they should make it to the doubles main draw from Group B.
But the Indians' path from that stage seems strewn with hurdles. They are drawn to run into a top Korean pair, which is ranked in the world's top 10, Kim Taek-Soo and Oh Sang-Eun, in the first round on Wednesday.
Mail Sports Editor
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