The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) on Tuesday re-appointed Italian Massimo Costantini as the national team chief coach for a two-year period up to September 30, 2018.
Max, as he is fondly known and called by players, was with the Indian team from early 2009 till the end of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, guiding India to five medals, including a men’s doubles gold and a silver in the women’s team event.
Soon after leaving India, Max has had a long-tem stint with an United States club and guided some its players to glory. He was also the US team coach at Rio Olympics.
The federation had roped in Peter Engel in 2013 but the German’s contract was not renewed at the end of the Asian 2014 Games. Since then, table tennis did not have a foreign coach.
However, a conscientious decision was taken with support from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to bring back Max, who is known for his excellent rapport with the Indian players.
"All the players know him well and have a very good understanding with him. This was one of the reasons for bringing him back. And this time Costantini will focus on the junior and youth teams and will also have a say in selection matters. We are investing on youngsters and have to prepare them for major Games ahaed," said Dhanraj Choudhary, secretary general of TTFI.
The 58-year-old has his agenda clear. "I have an onerous task of bringing back things on track. I have been entrusted with a big responsibility and I am hopeful I will live up to the federation’s expectations," said Max at his visit to Indore which is hosting the National Ranking (Central Zone) championships.
"I am expecting a brief from TTFI soon so that I can straightaway start working. The TTFI wanted me to visit this event here so that I can look for promising talents," added the coach.