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Constantini hoping for good performance in Asian TT

October 25, 2009 15:44 IST

India's national table tennis coach Massimo Constantini expects his wards to do well in next month's Asian Championship in Lucknow to boost their confidence ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games.

Constantini, currently accompanying the Indian paddlers at a 17-day special training programme in Zhengding province of China, considers the Asian tournament as one of the most important ones before the capital hosts Commonwealth Games from October 3-14.

"We will play in the (Asian) Championship with an intention of giving our best performance with the major target (2010 CWG) in our mind. If you work hard and give your best, good results are the logical consequence," Constantini said.

"Asian Championships is going to be toughest competition for us. Playing at home is never easy, sometimes it is an advantage but sometimes not at all. There will be high expectation from us. But this is quite normal," he added.

Constantini conceded the field would be difficult in the November 16-22 event and he expects the girls to do slightly better than the boys.

"If you see the world ranking among the top 30 players, there are 19 Asians while our best is at 71 (Achanta Sharath Kamal). Among the girls the situation is not much better, so we only need to play much better than ever," Constantini said.

"For good performance we need talent, technique, fitness and mind power. All these need to be combined in the players to be successful at the top international competitions," added the former Italian paddler.

India's 20-member probables' list consists of Sharath, woman national champion Kumaresan Shamini and former national champions Subhajit Saha, Poulomi Ghatak and Mouma Das.

Mascot unveiled

Chiku the Champ will be the mascot for the 19th Asian Table Tennis Championship to be held in Lucknow.

The mascot -- a rabbit, was unveiled by chairman of the tournament's organising committee and Uttar Pradesh Table Tennis Association president Prabhat C Chaturvedi at a function on Saturday.

India will be hosting the prestigious tournament for the third time and 23 countries out of 41 Asian members would be participating in the week-long event, to be held at the 4,000-seater Uttar Pradesh Badminton Academy in Gomti Nagar.