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Indian paddlers' CWG showing has even forced China to take notice: Chief coach

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Indian women's team historic performance at the has even attracted the attention of table-tennis powerhouse China, says chief national

"We are getting a lot of respect from everyone. When we were playing in the World Championships (earlier this May), they were very concerned about playing us. Some of the coaches like China's even asked for the video of the match in which beat (to win the CWG gold)," India's Italian told PTI.

witnessed its best performance in table-tennis at the CWG, bagging a record haul of eight medals including historic gold in the women's team and singles event in Gold Coast Games last month.

It was largely made possible by Manika Batra, who ended up winning four medals, the most by an Indian in Gold Coast.

Costantini, who also served as the from early 2009 till the end of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, played a vital role in the squad's CWG success. A month later, he guided the men's team to finish 13th in the at Halmstad in

However, the Manika-led women's team was not able to take the winning momentum of the CWG forward and finished a dismal 17th, beating just one of its opponents.

Asked about the reason behind the drastic drop in performance of the women, the former USA coach said he saw it coming.

"I didn't expect much from the women because I knew they won't be able to recover after such a great performance (at the CWG). There was a physiological drop. I could see Manika (Batra) was not sharp, she wasn't responding well, she wasn't ready."

However, quick to come to the team's defence, the 60-year-old said it's not the team's fault as consistency comes with experience.

"It's not their fault because when you have such a good performance you can't recover in one week as they are not used to it. The men are used to playing international games week after week.

"Our women are not ready. I am working on making them understand their responsibilities, making them learn how to get rid of the pressure of the previous match, handle exposure and reset themselves in short time."

On the contrary, the coach expected more from the men.

"The men were participating for the first time in the championship division. They were playing to make history. I thought with this team and the opponents they should have reached the top 12 but we just missed the mark by a little bit."

The in August-September will be a much tougher challenge than CWG but Costantini feels a favourable draw could help pull-off something special.

"Success of the will depend on the draw, if we are unlucky we will be playing I'm not saying it is impossible to beat them but it will be a difficult task."

The are to be held in and will see participation from table-tennis powerhouse China, besides other top teams such as South and and

"Preparations will be key and the pro tournaments in and will tell us how will be," Costantini said.

"Before the CWG we played in Qatar, and and Manika performed well in all of them so that's why I had a feeling she will do well in the CWG. Right now I want them to reach the lowest level of their form because from there only I can start my rebuilding process," the jovial Italian said.

Manika became the toast of the nation after her sensational performance in Gold Coast and the coach feels she is growing to be the ideal role model for women's game in India.

"Manika is emerging as a world-class She is rising to be the perfect role model for women taking up TT in India. This is a big cultural improvement because now people feel they can also be an like Manika, Sharath and Sathiyan," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 16:30 IST