New Delhi, April 19 IANS | 8 months ago

The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has hired two North Korean coaches - An Jong Son and Kim Song Han from - to help its state units conduct training sessions for junior paddlers during the summer vacations.

The hiring of foreign coaches, part of TTFI's annual developmental programme that began three years ago, has been a great hit with young players who have benefited from their training methods in the last two seasons. The two coaches will be here for nearly three months and help conduct camps in more than half a dozen states this year.

Both An and Kim were here last year and held three-week camps at Agra for the UP Table Tennis Association and at Guwahati for the Assam Table Tennis Federation.

As per the feedback from the two states, the coaches provided a lot of inputs to local coaches besides coaching their state players.

An has coached the North Korean national team in 2011 and 2012.

It is interesting to note that one of his wards had defeated India's Soumyajit Ghosh at the London Olympics two years ago.

As for Kim, he had coached the state university team before being appointed the chief coach of the nation's youth team from 2009 to 2012.

The TTFI, which considered the feedback, has again entrusted this year's summer's training camps - to be held at Delhi, Sonepat, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal and Karnataka - to the two coaches following demands from others states as well.

The Delhi camp has already begun and several youngsters are reaping the benefit from the knowledge and skills of the two coaches. Unlike last year, requests have poured in from more states and the TTFI is trying to help them with at least a two-week camp so that more and more players from states take advantage of their presence.

(Posted on 19-04-2014)

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