The question of who will coach the Indian table tennis team will finally be answered. Ever since Italian Massimo Constantini’s contract expired after the Asian Games last year, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) had been unable to find a replacement, who could help the team prepare for the London Olympics.
Three names have been finalised by the TTFI and forwarded to the Sports Authority of India for approval.
Those in the running are Leszek Kucharski of Poland, Michael Hajek of the Czech Republic and 1988 Seoul Olympics bronze medallist Erik Lindh of Sweden.
“Kucharski is our first choice. He has a good record and his name has also been recommended by the International Table Tennis Federation,” TTFI secretary general, Dhanraj Choudhary, told HT on Wednesday. “If he is unable to take up the offer, we hope to have Hajek as coach.”
The 53-year-old Pole had reached No. 11 in rankings as a player and has had a successful career as coach in his country. Hajek (43) too has been a successful coach of youth teams. Lindh is unlikely to take up the offer due to personal reasons.
Swede Anders Johansson, who was supposed to take up the post in July, had backed out claiming the salary was less as compared to the Swedish currency. The contract comes with a payment of $5000 (R2,41,650) a month including free accommodation and internal travel expenses.
If Kucharski agrees to the terms and conditions, he could soon be seen helping the Indian team.
A final decision is expected on October 3.