Kolkata, Sep 25 (IANS) Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) is confident that newly-appointed foreign coach Dejan Papic will be back with the team by first week of November, but in order to make sure that preparations do not take a beating they are trying to rope in a replacement for the interim period.
Papic was appointed the coach in July but later it was learnt that the Canadian’s joining will be delayed due to a knee surgery he has undergone. The Indian team, led by top-ranked paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, have been without a coach since the 2018 Asian Games.
Though table tennis in the country is doing really well with the recently-concluded Asian Table Tennis Championships witnessing the team finishing fifth, its best ever results, after beating Hong Kong 3-1, their preparations are not being ideal due to lack of a coach.
Sathiyan too beat World No.5 Harimoto Tomokazu in the team events and became the second Indian to enter the quarter-finals of the Asian Championships.
“We are expecting him (Papic) to return by end of October or early November. It’s not an ideal situation but that’s what is the news,” TTFI secretary M P Singh toldudaipur kiranon Wednesday.
“We are looking to bring in a coach in the meantime. We have some names. I cannot tell them now but there will be an announcement in the next 10 days,” he said.
It has been learnt that TTFI could bring German coach Jorg Bitzegaio, who is currently in charge of the USA team.