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'India can follow Chinese formula in TT'

July 28, 2009 12:07 IST

A multi-layer domestic competition structure in China has helped them become a superpower in international table tennis and now India can also try out the same formula, suggests Chinese national coach.

China's cadet boys team coach Liu Heng considers India as one of the emerging powers in the ping pong game though a long way to go to match the standard of their northern neighbours.

"I think, India is improving in table tennis and the country has a number of good paddlers just like China, but the multi-layer domestic competition system in our country helped us to create a huge number of professionals," Heng, who was in Jaipur for the 15th Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship, said.

"I believe that the system will work in India as well but it can take some time before garnering result. So a system overhaul is required," he added.

Explaining the system in China, Heng said, "A national league consisting of different levels allows a paddler to compete with the opponents of same standard and so is conducive to their grooming. It helped China to create a big talent pool among the young paddlers also."

Heng also feels India should formulate a long-term policy to groom the young talents in the country.

"Like India, China also has a huge population base. Since 1960, the country has spent 20 to 30 years to reach where it is today. But any system takes time before giving the desired results," he said through an interlocutor, who works as a support staff.

As if to support their coach's view, China asserted their supremacy in the four-day Asian junior event in the pink city by clinching seven medals while the hosts finished without any.

Heng is quite happy with the fact that China has started opening their training facilities to other countries, including India.

As part of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games preparation, a team of Indian paddlers recently underwent a month-long training camp in China.

"But this near hegemony is not conducive to maintain a high standard in international circuit and the International Table Tennis Federation is also worried about the situation.

"They (ITTF) are happy that China has started throwing out the facilities to the players from other countries to improve the overall standard of the game," he said.

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