India TT coach not aiming for 2014 CWG

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) India's new table tennis coach Peter Engel, who will take charge of the team next week after months of waiting, is not looking to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games for a good performance because of lack of preparation time.

Engel, who has served as national coach for the Netherlands and Spain, is hoping for a long stint with the Indian team leading to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"It is natural for people to expect instant results but there is not much time left for the Commonwealth Games (starting July 23). I am not really looking forward to it. I hope to take the team to Rio," Engel told IANS from Barcelona Sunday before boarding the flight to New Delhi.

Engel has been appointed on a one-year contract and India will finally have a coach for the first time since the 2012 London Olympics. The Commonwealth Games are one of the rare international platforms where Indian paddlers can win medals and precedes the Asian Games which will be held in September.

The German, whose family is based in Barcelona, was supposed to arrive in India by mid-August but delay in getting the visa and contractual obligations pushed his arrival.

It was a frustrating wait for Engel, who spent part of his time watching videos of top Indian players. He was keenly following the club games of Sharath Kamal, who plays for Borussia Dusseldorf in Germany.

"I am very happy now. I am finally coming. Barring Sharath, I don't know any of the players. So, the first task will be to a build a good relation with the players. The job gets much easier with that," said Engel, who has also worked with greats such as Jorgen Persson and Jan-Ove Waldner.

The coach also thinks highly of reigning national champion Soumyajit Ghosh besides Sharath.

"While Sharath is most popular Indian on the international scene, I have also been impressed by Ghosh. He is doing well for a 20-year-old. Overall, the talent is very much there in your country, more work needs to be done on the fitness front," said Engel, who competed in the 1975 World Cup in Kolkata.

Engel was the head coach of the Netherlands from 1994 to 99 before heading to Spain in 2000. He coached the Spanish women's team 2009-12.


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