Shillong | As India gear up for the Rio Olympics this year, Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) is organising a month-long training for its top players at various places in Europe.
Following the World Team Championship in Kuala Lumpur from February 8 to March 6, top Indian men and women players will go to Europe for training.
TTFI will send top four players in men’s and women’s sections to train in Europe in the build-up to the Olympics, said a top TTFI official, adding that the Pre-Olympic qualification will be held in Hong Kong from March 13-17.
He said India will be aiming for a per-quarterfinal finish in the Rio Games, to be held in August.
Meanwhile, TTFI general secretary Dhanraj Choudhary said that the Federation is looking to give emphasis on grassroot development by recruiting four Korean coaches.
The four coaches will be appointed across its centres initially for a four-year term to groom upcoming players in the age group of 12 to 14 years.
One of the four Korean coaches has already taken charge in Government of Gujarat’s academy in Bhavnagar and is there for a one year now, while the rest will take charge at the centres in Indore and Goa by April-May, Choudhary said on the sidelines of 12th South Asian Games here today.
The process has already begun with the commencing of the inter-school TT tournament last year, where 500 schools from 20 states participated and there was a national inter-school championship in the Subroto Cup format (football) in Indore from December 8-9.
This year we plan to have it in an even bigger way with involvement from at least 800 schools from 30 states. We want to make it compulsory for all schools to participate in the tournament. This way we will have a talent pool ready for future, Choudhary said.
TTFI is also planning to develop the country’s coaches by bringing in reputed international coaches from time to time to hold seminars.
They will conduct coaches clinic across all levels to prepare our coaches, he said.