Pakistan captain Salman Zirq has announced that good results should not be expected from the side in next month’s South Asian Juniors Table Tennis Championship that will be held in India.
A six-member squad will represent Pakistan in the tournament, which will act as a qualifier for the Asian Juniors Championship, but while the players are getting trained by junior coaches, they were of the view that an international event required more rigorous preparation and a qualified professional.
According to Zirq, each player is training with his respective club but to improve their skills, a national camp was needed and called on the Pakistan Table Tennis Federation (PTTF) to arrange one.
“I’m from Sheikhupura, how much do you think I can do on my own?” Zirq told The Express Tribune. “I’ve been training everyday with my coach, but I do this when I prepare for a national or regional championship. My regular training programme is not designed to prepare me for the Asian Championship qualifiers.
“I’ve won this title in 2008 but that is not enough. Right now I don’t even know how I am going to approach my game against my international competitors. I haven’t heard anything from the PTTF officials for a month now.”
Meanwhile, team coach Arif Khan echoed Zirq’s views and added that a qualified professional was desperately needed.
“International events require a different kind of preparation,” said Khan. “The last time we had Korean coaches in Karachi and they did a very good job with the juniors — Pakistan won three titles in 2008 as a result of that training.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.
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