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Former world champion brings hope for paddlers

other Updated: Jun 23, 2011 00:40 IST
HT Correspondent

A simple idea can change the entire course of your career. No we are not talking about the TV commercial, but these are the words of former national table tennis champion Kamlesh Mehta.

Mehta is hoping that some 60-odd aspiring players from the country will get that "idea" from former world champion Peter Karlsson of Sweden.

Karlsson will be conducting two TT camps in the country — in Pune from June 23-26 and Indore from June 27 to July 3 — and is hoping to share his experience and knowledge with the players.

"It just takes one idea or one stroke of inspiration which can take a player's game to a new level. With the kind of exposure the kids will get under Karlsson, you never know, some players might just pick up some skills and techniques which will bring a vast change in the way they play at the international level," Mehta said in New Delhi, before leaving for Pune with Karlsson.

He recalled how a short stint under Chinese coach Li Deyong proved to be a turning point in his career. "Li was in India in early 90s and I trained under him for some time. He remarked at that time that I should work on my backhand. After he went back, I slogged hard to get my backhand in shape, and thanks to him, I was able to extend my international career by another 4-5 years," he said.

The motive behind getting Karlsson to India was to make top class training available to those who can't afford to go abroad for it.

For Karlsson, whose academy in Sweden has coached three Indian players recently, this is another chance to look for good players in the "vast pool of talent". "Indian players in the last few months have done really well. Other countries have taken notice of it and are talking about it. I hope my experience will help the younger lot in these two camps," the 42-year-old said, adding he is eagerly looking forward to it — probably to get indoors as soon as possible to escape the heat.

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