The Indian table tennis team's Polish coach Leszek Kucharski frankly believes the standard of Indian men players is as good as that of the Europeans, but if there is one thing that needs to be worked on, it is their fitness.
Kucharski, a former World No. 11, however, feels Indian women players have quite a bit of catching up to do to get to high international standards. He realises he has a tough job on hand, with only four months to prepare for the London Olympics qualifiers.
“The men's level is comparable with that of the Europeans, while the women need to do a lot of catching up. It has been good so far and I will be working with them on all aspects of the game,” Kucharski said, adding that he is still to meet India's top star and World No 79 Sharath Kamal, who is busy playing in Germany.
On his first interaction with the top Indian players, he says they all seem quite pumped up for the nationals in Lucknow, starting Monday, and are eager to do well.
"Table tennis is not a sport like weightlifting in which you train athletes and get results in six months' time. The minimum process should be from Olympics to Olympics, that is, at least four years,” he said.