The Indian table tennis national camp for elite paddlers has been indefinitely postponed again after some of the players expressed their concerns about travel and uncertainties about the operation of the SAI facility in Bengaluru.
The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), which has been currently de-recognized by the Government of India, has been trying their best to gather the top players under a common roof to get the camps going since the month of August.
The latest attempt by the governing body was to schedule a camp for three weeks starting from October 15.
TTFI general secretary M P Singh spoke to PTI about some of the issues that are persistent around the organization of the national camp currently and the possibility of arranging the camp in November.
"Some players are willing to travel, some players want to train overseas and the venue too is not ready yet and our de-recognition is not helping either. We are looking at November now," M P Singh said.
Top table tennis players divided over travelling to the camp venue
A majority of the male paddlers including current World No. 31 Achanta Sharath Kamal are ready to travel to the camp venue in Bengaluru. However, it appears that most female players are hesitant to make the commute and do not want to leave their hometowns in the present situation.
Achanta Sharath Kamal spoke about his willingness to travel, the need for players to train together and adapting to the current circumstances with the right measures.
" I am ready to travel whenever the camp can be organised. Though we have been training on our own, it would be nice to have a camp in a team environment. We need to live with the virus while taking all safety precautions," Achanta Sharath Kamal said.
Fellow Indian male paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, ranked World No. 32, is also willing to be a part of the camp but has objections to the mandatory seven-day quarantine period upon arriving at the SAI facility in Bengaluru.
He is presently training with his personal coach S. Raman in his hometown Chennai.
"It would be ideal if we can travel to Bengaluru with negative COVID reports and are allowed to start training from day one," Gnanasekaran said.
The coming days will throw more clarity on the situation as the TTFI coordinates with players and attempts to find a common ground to hold the national camp in Bengaluru.Published 06 Oct 2020, 17:46 IST