India`s new TT coach can make difference

New Delhi: Former World table tennis champion Peter Karlsson sees the appointment of his fellow Swede Anders Johansson as India`s national coach as a huge positive and feels he can make a big difference in the right kind of environment.

Johansson, who will be training the Indian team till the 2012 London Olympics, is expected to sign a contract with the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) soon. Internationally, he is a widely respected coach and was once the personal coach of former World Champion Jorgen Persson.

Karlsson, himself a former doubles World Champion and member of the Swedish team that won the World Championship four times, said Johansson has the right credentials to coach a world-class team.

"He is a good friend of mine and his coming here will be great for Indian table tennis," Karlsson said on Wednesday.

"He has all the requisite qualities to take Indian table tennis to the next level. For that he needs time to understand the players and the right inputs. He can`t do everything on his own, you need to be patient. This country is in the right direction, but it will take time for India to become a force to reckon with internationally," he said.

Karlsson, a brand ambassador for Indian sports equipment multinational Stag, is impressed with what he has seen of the Indian table tennis scene.

"My knowledge of India`s table tennis is peripheral, but what I see is you have a good number of young players. The country has a huge pyramid of players and that is a big positive," said the 42-year-old, who will be overseeing a seven-day clinic for top players and coaches, beginning in Indore Monday.

Bureau Report

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