He guided South Korea to its maiden Asian Games bronze in the last edition as a coach and in his maiden assignment with the Indian team for the next month’s Asian Games, Lingampally Srinivas Reddy is optimistic of India retaining the gold for the eighth successive time.
The 41-year-old, who is in the city for a short break before joining the Indian preparatory camp in Sonepat (Haryana), says that it will be a challenge to win the gold again for the eighth successive time but not insurmountable, as despite improving standards of the other teams like Pakistan, Korea, Japan, India stands well and above the rest.
“There is everything in place as far as combinations of the team both in defence and attack are concerned. The biggest plus is that we have very good all-rounders,” says the Andhra Bank manager from the city.
“The recent triumph in the Dubai World Masters was a reminder, if needed, that this Indian team is capable of rising to the occasion in any event. The best part is that we have been preparing for four months already,” says the coach, who owes a lot to the first Dronacharya in kabaddi – E. Prasada Rao.
He also goes on to praise the impact of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). “The Pro Kabaddi League is the biggest thing to have happened, for it not only changed the lifestyle of the players but also saw foreign players feature in the league and thereby give Indians a feel of their strengths and weaknesses. This might hold good for the other nations too but we have a better domestic structure unlike other countries, which at the most play only one big national event,” Srinivas adds.
What exactly will be the focus in the final phase of the camp? “The focus will be on super tackles – how to execute them and also how to counter them too. This will be the key to our preparations as we will be formulating different strategies for the opponents,” says the former player, who will be coaching Jaipur Pink Panthers in the upcoming edition of the PKL.
“We are all geared up for the big moment again in Jakarta,” signs off the 2005 Asian Championship gold medallist.
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