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Costantini: Indian TT teams can pull off surprise at Paris

Insisting that even the table tennis powerhouses are keen to avoid playing India in the earlier rounds thanks to their exploits in the last 12 months, the Indian team’s coach Massimo Costantini exuded confidence that the players could spring a few surprises in both the team and individual events at the Paris Olympics.

India have qualified for both the men’s and women’s team events for the first time in the history of the Olympics and Costantini has been roped in to guide the players on the biggest stage. Under Costantini, India clinched a record eight medals, including three gold, at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and two bronze medals at the 2018 Asian Games.

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“Qualifying for the team events is already an achievement because just 16 teams qualify for the Olympics. It’s difficult to say whether we will win a medal, but we can come up with a big surprise. There have been enough signals in the past six months that even teams like China are worried about playing against India,” Costantini, 66, said in an interview with Ultimate Table Tennis. “The gap between us and the top teams is not that big. Since we’ll know our opponents in advance, we will have time to prepare well and tactically work on bridging that gap,” he added.

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