Coach Leszek Kucharski's biggest concern nowadays is the fitness of the Indian paddlers, and he wants them to work on it as only four months are left to the Olympic qualifiers.
Fitness would be a key area as Leszek and the national selectors would be keeping a watch on this aspect when the 73rd Senior National and Inter-State Championships begin at the SAI Sub-Centre.
Leszek had earlier said that India players lacked fitness. “Talent-wise India players are almost at par with the top paddlers in the world,” he said. “Fitness is what they need to improve.” Top paddlers Sharath Kamal and Amal Raj will be the centre of attention as India will send three players for the Olympic qualifiers.
Leszek, who was named India coach in November, will be meeting Sharath for the first time on Monday as the world No 79 was busy playing in Germany.
Youngsters Soumyajit Ghosh and Ankita Das are expected to pose some threat to the seniors as they have been doing well at the junior level. Ghosh won bronze at the 2010 World Juniors while Ankita surprised many by making it to the quarters in the 2011 edition.
Defending champions Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) are expected to rule the roost in both the men's and women's teams events. Sharath, who is to reach here on Monday evening, is unlikely to play the initial matches.