Fitness will be a key issue, especially with the women players, according to Indian table tennis coach Leszek Kucharski, a Poland-born paddler, here on Monday.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the National-ranking (south zone) table tennis championship, Kucharski said he took up the Indian assignment two weeks back and was yet to see some of the top Indians in action. “My first priority will be to help Indians qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.”

He rated PSPB's Soumyajit Ghosh high and felt the next four or five years will be crucial for the teenager. Soumyajit was a member of the Indian junior team which won a bronze in the team championship at the world juniors in Bahrain recently.

Kucharaski felt India was neither strong nor weak and it had to perform consistently in its international fixtures. “Most of the Indians are all-rounders and that is a good sign. I also wish to work on the serves as they play a crucial role in the 11-point format. With a good serve half the battle is won. One has to be physiologically strong in this shorter format.”

Commenting on the domination of China, the former World No. 11 said that table tennis was the national sport of China and millions played with passion. “The government supports the game by providing the best of infrastructure and coaches,” he said.

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