“We are getting a lot of respect from everyone. When we were playing China in the World Championships (earlier this May), they were very concerned about playing us. Some of the coaches like China’s coach even asked for the video of the match in which India beat Singapore (to win the CWG gold),” India’s Italian coach said.
India witnessed its best performance in table-tennis at the CWG, bagging a record haul of eight medals including historic gold in the women’s team and singles event in Gold Coast Games last month.
It was largely made possible by Manika Batra, who ended up winning four medals, the most by an Indian in Gold Coast.
Costantini, who also served as the chief coach of the national team from early 2009 till the end of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, played a vital role in the squad’s CWG success. A month later, he guided the men’s team to finish 13th in the Championship Division of the World Team Championships at Halmstad in Sweden.
However, the Manika-led women’s team was not able to take the winning momentum of the CWG forward and finished a dismal 17th, beating just one of its opponents.
Asked about the reason behind the drastic drop in performance of the women, the former USA coach said he saw it coming.
“I didn’t expect much from the women because I knew they won’t be able to recover after such a great performance (at the CWG). There was a physiological drop. I could see Manika (Batra) was not sharp, she wasn’t responding well, she wasn’t ready.”