by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Winners in the inaugural year, Falcons will be counselled by Soumyadeep Roy and Slovenia’s Vesna Ojstersek, a coach very much responsible for her country’s recent progress; for Yoddhas the advisors are Sandeep Gupta and Hungary’s Ferenc Karsai, the man who guided Austria’s Werner Schlager to gold at the Liebherr 2003 World Championships in Paris.
Similarly, for RP-SG Mavericks Arup Basak and Elena Timina are the experts sitting courtside and if you need anyone who is international, it is Elena Timina, her defensive skills breaking many an adversary’s heart. She is the only player to have represented three different governing bodies at Olympic Games, World Championships and the ITTF World Team Cup. She represented the Unified Team at a time when the Soviet Union was breaking up, later she was on duty for her native Russia before moving to live in the Netherlands, the country to which now possesses allegiance.
Meanwhile, the coaches for Challengers are Muralidhara Rao and Germany’s Peter Engel, the successful guide of Spain’s Galia Dvorak and Sara Ramirez in their teenage days; for Dabang Smasher it is Sanil Shetty and Andrei Filimon, the man who guided the Romanian Women’s Team to gold at the 2017 European Team Championships.
Completing the list, for DHFL Maharashtra United, India’s N. Ravichandran and Portugal’s Francisco Santos, notably successful at the European Youth Championships, are the mentors.
Present at the coaches’ draft were members of the organising committee: Rajeev Bodas, Minal Bajaj, Vita Dani and Kamlesh Mehta.
The title sponsors are CEAT (Cavi Elettrici e Affini Torino) Ltd. The company which has a global market, is one of India’s leading tyre manufacturers.
Proceedings commence on Thursday 14th June and conclude on Sunday 1st July.