Swede Johansson set to be India’s table tennis coach

June 3rd, 2011 - 7:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) Swedish Anders Johansson is set to take over as India’s table tennis coach. The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has recommended Johansson’s name to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to rope him as the coach till the end of the 2012 London Olympics.

SAI is likely to approve the appointment at a meeting with TTFI officials Monday.

Johansson is associated with a top club named Ochsenhausen in Germany, a country where India’s top paddler Sharath Kamal plays for a lesser known club Grafelfing Munich.

Dhanraj Choudhary, TTFI secretary general, rates Johansson higher than his predecessor Massimo Constantini, who decided against renewing his contract after a two-year stint that ended with the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year.

“Massimo was a good coach for but his level (Johansson) is a lot higher. I spoke to Sharath about Johansson and he said it is unlikely that the coach will be coming to India. Since now he has accepted the offer, we are pleased to have him,” Choudhary told IANS.

Choudhary said that SAI is ready to sanction $5,000 as monthly remuneration for the coach.

“We are happy that we are getting a highly qualified man for the seniors so TTFI will bear the rest of the cost,” he said.

TTFI, however, is in a fix in regards to hiring the coach for the junior team.

“We had zeroed in on a Chinese for the junior team, a level in which top-class coaching is required for the youngsters. But now with Johansson coming in for seniors, it is unlikely that we will get funds from the government for hiring another coach.”

“We hope SAI considers our request to have a foreign coach for juniors as well.”

When Johansson takes over his duty, his immediate task would be to prepare the team for the Olympic qualifiers in November.

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