Indian paddlers start training ahead of Indian Open

Updated: Jun 08, 2010, 20:18 PM IST

New Delhi: With the Indian Open just a week away, 22 Indian paddlers started a vigorous training session at the newly-constructed Yamuna Sports Complex, under the watchful eyes of foreign coach Massimo Constantini and chief coach Bhawani Mukherjee.

The Indian contingent, comprising 12 men and 12 women players, went through the paces at the Yamuna Sports Complex, ahead of the Indian Open, a test event for the Commonwealth Games in October.

India`s foreign coach Constantini seemed confident about the paddlers performance in the ITTF-Pro Tour event, especially after their month-long training-cum-competition session in Zhending, China last month.

"I expect the players to give a good account of themselves during the Indian Open," he said.

Talking on India`s medal chances, Constantini said he expects tough competition from Singapore, Korea and Chinese Taipei in the tournament.

"Singapore`s stranglehold came to the fore in Moscow (World Championship) when they broke the Chinese supremacy in the women`s section. But the Korean men are too strong. In spite of the adversity, I hope our players to go all out and win us medals," added the coach.

The Italian also said that the training will be done in two sessions under lights, on the new set of tables procured for the Indian Open.

"It will help them to get accustomed to the surface and gauge the speed of the racquet, ball and every other aspect associated with the game. Hopefully, this would give them some added advantage over their rivals who will be arriving only early next week," said Constantini.