Jaipur: Ace Indian paddler Achanta Sharath
Kamal feels that Singapore would present a tough challenge to
the hosts in Individual and Team events during the October
3-14 Commonwealth Games.
Sharath, who became the first paddler from the country to
win a singles title on the IITF Pro Tour, said Indians need to
be on top of their game during the multi-sporting event to
perform well in front of home crowd.
"We know great expectations are being pinned on us
because we are the host and also the defending champions of
team individual gold in Table Tennis. Though Chinese would not
be here but Chinese origin players would be here from various
other teams. For example Singapore has few players who are of
Chinese origin and may pose tough challenge for us in Team and
Individual events," Sharath said.
"Other teams like Nigeria and England are also good. We
need to work hard to emerge at the top. We need to produce our
best in front of our people," said Sharath, who is in Ajmer
for Inter-Institutional Table Tennis tournament.
Indians are gearing up for this month`s China Open and
Arjuna Awardee Sharath said the exposure trip will hold them
in good stead in this year`s Commonwealth Games and Asian
"Chinese camps will be very useful. We are training hard
and even their second string is equally good. So we will
definitely gain from the camp.”
"It`s not that we are not able to cope with the Chinese
players. I have been playing in the European circuit and come
across many Chinese players. In fact I beat a Chinese player
in the final of the Cairo open. Other Indians who play on
pro-tour also are now aware of Chinese tactics. I am there to
give tips to the other team mates," said Sharath, who is
currently ranked 74th in the world but would be among Top-50
by the end of this month.
When asked about Table Tennis Federation of India`s
(TTFI) decision to hire European coaches like Massimo
Constantine from Italy instead of Chinese mentors, Sharath
said, "With Chinese coaches there is language problem and
moreover they have a closed door policy of not allowing their
top coaches for other teams."
"The Indians have earned more success with European
coaches because our style is more akin to Europeans," he
Talking about his recent triumphs, Sharath said it was
all because of playing in Europe and hard work.
"I could break the barrier because I played in Europe and
worked hard to overcome my short comings. But with government
providing all support and TTFI also leaving no stone unturned
the future of Indian Table tennis looks bright."