India is in a good in table tennis with its young players such a Achanta Sharath Kamal doing well and the upcoming professional league UTT can help them develop, veteran paddler Par Gerell of Sweden says.
The Swede, who is here to play for Falcons TTC in the inaugural Ultimate Table Tennis league, said India’s players
have been doing well in recent times and having a league will help them get better by learning from top players.
“The Indians are doing well. They are improving all the time – (Achanta) Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Singh, Soumyajit Ghosh and G Sathiyan are playing well.
“It is good to see them improve. The UTT can help the younger (players) learn a lot. There are a lot of quality
performers in the league and the Indians can learn by interacting with them and watching them,” he told PTI.
He said the UTT was a very good concept and could prove beneficial to all the participants. “I am very excited about playing in the UTT, it looks like it will be an interesting league. There are many good players and I think it will be fun to play in the tournament,” Gerell said.
About the format, 35-year-old Gerell said, “It seems very exciting. The reduced games means that one has to be focused from the word go. In the regular matches one can fight back even if he/she loses a game or two, but that is not possible here.”
Stating that he had been playing well in the last two years, the Swedish southpaw said he was looking forward to
doing well in the coming season.
Coming from the land of legendary former world champions Jan-Ove Waldner and Jorgen Persson, Gerell, currently ranked 44 in the world) said he had grown up watching them play and was glad to have played alongside them.
“I grew up watching them play and wanting to emulate them. They have done amazing things. I used to play in the same club where Persson played and had the opportunity to meet him,” said the Swede, a huge admirer of Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer.
About the Chinese domination of the sport, he said, “We will never be as good as they are. They have a very good
system and wonderful coaches. Importantly, they are taught the right technique at a young age, which stands them in good stead in the long run. However, they can be beaten but takes a lot of hard work.”
On the Falcons’ prospects in UTT, he said, “It is a solid team and there are some quality players. We can reach the semifinals but from there on it will be anybody’s game,” he added.