Indian TT to get two foreign coaches

New Delhi: Bolstered by India`s best ever performance in the Delhi Commonwealth Games, Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) is looking for two foreign coaches to prepare the paddlers for tougher events like the Olympics.

Dhanraj Choudhary, secretary-general of TTFI, said the federation has been looking for overseas coaches both for the junior and the senior level after Italian Massimo Constantini`s contract expired after the Asian Games in Guangzhou. Massimo was mainly involved with the senior team.

The apex table tennis federation has already recommended the proposal of two foreign coaches to the sports ministry.

`At present, we can only win medals at the Commonwealth level. If we have to win at events like the Asian Games and the Olympics, we must have a strong base. And that is where we feel the two coaches will be useful. The results will not come overnight but we need to start planning now,` Choudhary told IANS.

India finished with five medals, including a men`s doubles gold in Delhi, but were nowhere in the medal hunt in the Asian Games in China.

The official revealed a Chinese will coach the younger lot while the seniors will continue to play under a European.

`The Chinese coaches are the most hard working. We feel they will be best suited to train the youngsters. The seniors, including Sharath (Kamal), prefer a European. They suit his style of play. So, we are talking to the concerned people and things will be finalised by the end of this month,` Choudhary said.

Also, by hiring two coaches instead of one, TTFI thinks it would be able to make the best use of the resources provided by the government.

`Massimo was getting a monthly salary of $5,000 and was asking for $6,000 for the contract extension. But we thought we could rope in two coaches instead for the same amount to give more exposure to the players,` he said.

Bureau Report