Indian paddlers’ current training stint in China, their third within a year, will help them fine tune their skills as they look to bag a handful of medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games here, according to national coach Massimo Constantini.
Constatini, who is with the Indian players currently undergoing a 17-day special camp in Zhengding, China, said playing practice matches against Chinese paddlers would pay rich dividends in the Delhi Games.
“In next year’s Commonwealth Games, we are going to play mostly against the Chinese players (representing nations like Singapore, Australia, Canada and Malaysia). So we need to be closer to them by making ourselves habitual to their style of play to succeed next year,” Constantini told PTI from China.
“I believe training in China gives the players a different motivation. A different lifestyle and food. We are training at a table tennis superpower country. So, the entire mentality of our players change,” he said.
Of late, the ping pong sport in India is making strides towards professionalism, especially in the run-up to the Delhi Games, which has made Constantini happy.
“It is the best preparation we have — very close to the Chinese style and very far to the European one. I am quite convinced if the government keep supporting us in every matter, we would be working for bringing the best results for the country,” said the former Italian paddler.
After appointing a physiotherapy specialist, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) recently roped in Olympian Achanta Sharath Kamal’s younger brother Rajath as sports analyst with special focus on Delhi Games.
The coach also praised on the training facilities at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, where a month-long camp was held recently with the Commonwealth probables.
“At the moment, Pune represents the best solution for the players’ training in India. The food, accommodation and the other facilities were according to our expectations,” Constantini, who has also the experience of coaching Italy’s national team, said.
They have improved a lot but have to keep working hard to achieve results in important events,” he added.
The next international assignment for the Indians would be the Pro Tour English Open in Sheffield later this month, followed by the 19th Asian Table Tennis Championship in Lucknow from November 16-22