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Table Tennis

'I am here for unfinished business': Indian TT coach Costantini

Costantini has been appointed for the third third by TTFI. In the 2010 CWG and 2018 Asian Games, Indian players performed exceptionally well under his coaching.

I am here for unfinished business: Indian TT coach Costantini

FILE PHOTO: Massimo Costantini celebrating with Manika Batra at the Jakarta Asian Games in 2018.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 20 May 2024 11:06 AM GMT

Italian Massimo Costantini has been reappointed by the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI). This is his third stint with India.

In Costantini's first stint, India won a then-record five medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. He would come back to help India win an unprecedented two medals at the 2018 Asian Games, ending a 60-year drought.

On his decision to return to India ahead of the Paris Olympics, slated for July-August, Costantini said, he has an 'unfinished business', he wants to put India at par with traditional powerhouses of table tennis like China, Japan and Korea.

''I am here for unfinished business. I have always seen big potential in India to become a powerhouse in table tennis. And I like to be someone that can contribute to the success," Costantini was quoted as saying by PTI.

"We have done well in the previous two tenures. Time will tell if we can do even better. So even better means to aspire to something big in the Olympics. And that is the biggest motivation," he added.

Biggest challenge, Paris Olympics

For now, Costantini's biggest challenge is to train the Indian men's and women's table tennis teams for the Paris Olympics. The Indian TT teams qualified for the Olympics for the first time.

''The Olympics is some sort of appetizer and just only two months away. And so, just to understand what's going on, since I left, the world has changed completely, so I need to learn first before teaching," said the 66-year-old coach, who arrived in India last week.

''One thing I know is, that if we want to be a table tennis powerhouse like China, and this is my goal, we need to change a little bit. We need to think bigger," stated Costantini.

''We need to strengthen the coaches, the players' awareness, and plan better. My model is always China, Japan, and Korea. For the last three decades and more, they have always been at the top. They never have ups and downs,'' he added.

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