KARACHI - Host Pakistan and fancied India are front runners in four-nation Maymar South Asian Junior (under 18) Table Tennis Championships which gets underway here Wednesday morning at Toyota's air-conditioned Gymnasium at Habib Public School. The three-day championships being hosted for the first time in Pakistan has also attracted Nepal and Sri Lanka in the championships which will be contested in boys and girls under 18 and cadet boys and girls under 15 team and individual events. The event has about ten years history and had been held in India and other SAARC countries in the past also. Pakistan boys and girls (under-18) will meet their Indian counterparts late in the evening which will decide the gold medals in boys and girls team event and in cadet under 15 boys and girls team event. The contest would be held in ten events. Boys and girls (under 18) team, singles and doubles event, Cadet Boys and girls (under 15) team and singles events. SM Sibtain, the President of the PTTF (the organisers of the event) at a pre tournament press briefing disclosed that Pakistan was asked to step in and hold the event after original allottee Sri Lanka withdrew for some reasons. President Karachi Table Tennis Association former international Javed Chottani, former international Arif Nakhuda, Arif Khan and ladies former national champion Rubina Arif, chairman of the KTTA Dr Farhan Essa and Shaukat Umari, president of Lahore association Rashid Nabi and LTTA secretary former international Irfanullah were also present at the briefing. He said the chairman of Maymar Housing Services Abdul Rashid will formally open the event at 2.30 in the afternoon. City Nazim Kamal Mustafa, who is the chief patron of the championship, will host a reception-cum-dinner on the lawns of the old KMC building on MA  Jinnah Road on Wednesday night. Asked to comment on the chances of Pakistan in the championships, SM Sibtain said that in the presence of India, the home team would face a strong challenge to go for the top honour. He said the Indian team which landed here Tuesday morning was relatively stronger than all other countries in the competition. The Indians recently went to the USA for a month-long training tour and would be stronger combination. Despite all the odds, Pakistan would certainly go for top honors but, he said the home team had a chance to get silver in the team events. He did not count out Sri Lanka from medal run. He said the Sri Lankans were in China recently on a training tour. Unfortunately for long fifteen years, table tennis in Pakistan was not as active as it was expected but efforts were on to train juniors who he hoped would show improvement. He thanked title sponsor Maymar Housing Services for its support without which it would have been difficult to meet the expenses of the event. Around Rs. 14 lac were needed to host the event. He said Bangladesh were interested to come but due to heavy expenses involved in air traveling, they could not come. Responding to a specific query about scrutinising the ages of the players, he said all the players were officially listed with their ages on ITTF and ATTU websites. Pakistan team in the championships is: Abdul Rahim, Faheem Raza, Rameez Khan, Abbas Ahmed, Ayesha Khan, Maliha Khursheed, Abeera Ali, Iqra Saeed, Shumaila Wasti, Mubeena Hanif. Former international Arif Nakhuda is boys manager and his wife Rubina Arif  girls manager. Visiting North Koreans Kim Song, Hyon and Ri Hwang Il are coaches of the team. Sri Lanka has brought the following sixteen member team. Manzil Muthalib (manager), Chathura Dushan (coach), HP Prabhat Priyantha Ratnakumar and AKS Dilishiya Shamali (international umpires). Players are: Buddhika Walagampola, Sahanaka Ganegoda, Sukitha Wickramanayake, Hasintha Shashiranga, Malitha Dilusha. MS Prabodhana Rodiro, Ms. Ishra Mdurangi, Ms Tharindra Weekaroon, Ms Pavithra Gimhani, Ms. Erandi Warusavithana, Ms. Chavindya de Silva, Ms.Nuwani Nawodya. Indian team: Mool Chand Chowhan (leader of the team), Narayanan Ravichandran and Abhijit Das (coaches), Arun Kumar Bhalla (Umpire), Ganeshan Neelakanta Iyer (referee). Players are: Shubham Sharma, Soumyajit Ghosh, Raj Mondal, Sourav Saha, Ms.Pooja Vijayu Sahasrabudhe, Ms.Soumi Mondal, Divya Chandashekhar Deshpande, Sathian Gnasesekaran, Sourav Saha, Ankita Das, Charvi Rajkumar Kawle, Ms.Nikhat Banu. Nepal team: Rajesh Man Shrestha (Manager), Rajendra Kapali (coach), Tajendra Mahara (international umpire), Omnath (delegate). Players: Pradip Roka, Anish Shrestha, Bibek Shreshtha, Sonou Gupta, Biplov Adhikari, Ms.Sanisha Shrestha, Ms Elina Maharjan, Ms.Renuka Khatri, Ms.Nabita Shrestha, Ms.Shushma Bashnet. Competition start at 9 in the morning with cadet and junior boys and girls team group matches. Semi-finals and finals would be held later in the evening.