Table Tennis: TTFI makes fresh attempt to organise training camp, top players say no again

The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) will make a fresh attempt to organise a training camp at the end of June but top players including Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan are not ready to travel anytime soon as the situation remains “unsafe”.

After the government allowed sports complexes to open without spectators earlier this month, the TTFI had written to the players to assemble for a camp in the first week of June.

However, none of the top players was keen to travel and their response will be on similar lines when they receive the federation’s letter for the second time.

“We should be looking at July if at all. It is still too early to travel and things are not settling down. The cases continue to rise. Let there be some stability, until then we can keep training the way we have been at home,” India’s highest-ranked player at 31, Sharath, told PTI.

World number 32 G Sathiyan, who is based in Chennai like Sharath, is happy training in his home city under personal coach S Raman.

Asked the need for a training camp at this juncture, TTFI secretary general M P Singh said they are only acting on government’s direction and checking players’ availability for June end.

“If the players think it is unsafe for June end also, it is their choice and we respect that. But we are only acting as per government’s direction,” Singh said.

The plan is to have 16 players (8 men and 8 women) training under one roof and the venue options are Delhi, Sonepat and Patiala.

There is no tournament in the near future with international body ITTF suspending all activities till end of June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.