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Member Associations - 18 Oct 2010

Historical success for Italian coach Massimo COSTANTINI in India


19/10/2010 – Last year India’s Table Tennis Association has signed the contract with former Italian and UAE head coach Massimo COSTANTINI having in mind very important goal – good result at the Commonwealth Games that will be held in Del

19/10/2010 – Last year India’s Table Tennis Association has signed the contract with former Italian and UAE head coach Massimo COSTANTINI having in mind very important goal – good result at the Commonwealth Games that will be held in Delhi this October. Experienced coach who played for 23 years in national jersey, proved as a perfect solution. Under the guidance of Massimo COSTANTINI, Sharath Kamal ACHANTA and Subhajit SAHA won gold in Men’s Doubles Event after they beat GAO Ning and YANG Zi.

In Women’s team Event DAS, GHATAK, PATKAR, KUMARESAN and PRABHU won silver and they lost against Singapore. ACHANTA, SAHA, ROY, ANTHONY, RAVICHANDRAN clinched the bronze in Men’s Team as well as ACHANTA in Singles and DAS and GATHAK in Women’s Doubles. That put India on the second spot with five medals on the medal standings. Only one nation was better – Singapore, whilst England and Malaysia occupied third and fourth position.

- Can you highlight some special matches, or most important one from Delhi?
“Undoubtedly the winning of gold medal in Men’s Doubles by beating the Singaporean GAO Ning and YANG Zi was the most magic moment. It came after big struggles; in the semis against the England’s PITCHFORD and BAGGALEY in which they have had a match point; then in the final.But most valuable and unforgettable moment came afterwards being in the highest step of the podium while the Indian national anthem was playing. It was really a touching. Technically I have to mention the brilliant performance of our girls. On the eve of the CWG, nobody would have bet on two medals. But they won it: the silver in Women’s Team after having beaten Australia and England and the bronze in the Women’s Doubles,” said Massimo COSTANTINI.

- What was the reaction in Indian TTA after the great result?
“These medals came after other good results we have achieved during the season. For the first time ever an Indian player, ACHANTA, won a Pro Tour in Egypt and reached the WR n.39. So, it has given the right confidence for the CWG 2010 in which TT has contributed with 5 medals out of 101 fulfilling the Government expectations. In fact I used to say to media and members of the Government that India was capable to achieve 3-5 medals and we got 5, the maximum, so the target has been achieved completely. You have to consider the enormous effort the Association, the Sport Authority and all the actors involved in this major event have done by giving me full support. They are happy, very happy and proud to make India greater and greater.”

- Where the team had preparations for the Games?
“The preparation was planned keeping in mind four different opportunities: International exposures such as Competitions, Training camp abroad, Domestic Competitions and Training camp in India. Considering last 3 months of preparation I have planned to take part of US Open, Egypt Pro Tour then to organize 15 days camp in India, two domestics tournaments for the players selections. After that we participated at the Pro Tour in China, immediately after 3 weeks in Zhengding, we had one week off and the last 3 weeks we worked in Delhi. The target was to give them the right confidence during the competition and getting the habit to stand the stress, to face the pressure, to manage the toughest moment of the match which ultimately occurs, so I pushed them to improve mentally, to think better before executing any stroke and to understand the meaning of mistakes.”

- I guess you extended your contract with India?
“The Association has clearly expressed the will to continue for one more year or until the London 2012 but the last sanction has to come from SAI -Sport Authority of India. From my side I wish to complete the job I have started in Feb. 2009 so to leave a legacy to the players, coaches and table tennis family in terms of results, knowledge and experience helpful for the future of India,” stated coach Massimo COSTANTINI.

(by Milica NIKOLIC)

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