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Sharath Kamal to TTFI: Foreign coach a priority


The appointment of a worthy foreign coach is of “topmost priority” for Sharath Kamal among the suggestions made to the Table Tennis Federation of India recently.

The National team is without a foreign coach after the 2018 Asian Games.

As part of the players’ representation pertaining to National training camps, domestic events and appointment of a panel of coaches, most of Sharath’s suggestions have got the nod from the TTFI.

“I have discussed these points with the TTFI and they have agreed to almost all the points. They are also acting on the requests for training camps. They have assured, the National camps would be at a place suitable to us,” disclosed Sharath.

“Ideally, we need a three-coach panel. The Deputy Head Coach’s job should be to deal with under-19 and under-17 players. A third coach should not only assist the Deputy Head coach but also scout talent and train the under-17 and under-15 players. This system should help a steady flow of players from the junior and youth ranks to the men and women teams,” elaborated Sharath.

About the requirements for the National camps, Sharath said, “The camp, with minimum eight players – including two sparring partners in each section apart from four coaches – should be at a venue where the players have access to gym and ground facilities, air-conditioned rooms with attached bath, recovery centre (sauna/ice bath) under a certified doctor.

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“Besides male physio and masseur, the camp should engage a female physio and masseur for our women trainees,” emphasised the nine-time National champion.

Sharath also expressed his concern over the packed schedule leading to the World championship in Houston from November 23-29.

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“Consider this. Players like G. Sathiyan, Archana Kamath, Sreeja Akula, Harmeet Desai, Manav Thakkar, etc have been playing since August 15. Following the National camp, some of them have travelled to Doha for a WTT event (September 20-25). Then they play the Asian championship (September 28-October 5).

“During the following fortnight, there could be an All India ranking event (North) which will be good to test our preparedness ahead of three WTT events between October 24 and November 14 (one in Tunisia and two in succession in Slovenia). Then we have a proposed preparatory camp at the Indian Community Centre, California, before heading for the World championship from November 23 to 29.

“As you can see there is a very brief period after Asian championship when the players can return home, before the proposed North Zone ranking event. I hope the TTFI keeps it that way. We players need time to recuperate”, he urged.



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