Junior paddlers excel in Sweden
by Ting Tieng Hee, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on July 2, 2012, Monday
KUCHING: It was a good exposure trip for Sarawak junior paddlers Gabriel Ling Kerk Yu and Alice Chang Li Sian at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Hopes Training Camp and Challenge in Sweden.
Coach Helena Wee said although the duo did not made it to the finals, they have done considerably well at the camp from June 11-12.
Gabriel improved his performance by making it to the second round (last 16) of the Boys Under-10 while Alice also entered the second round after finishing runner-up in her group.
She lost 1-3 to Naja Mekampon from Thailand who eventually emerged as the champion in the Girls Under-10 category.
“It was a pity that Gabriel couldn’t advance to the last eight because if he had won the last 16 match against a Swedish player, he would be included as a member of the team as one of the Asian players,” said Wee.
In fact, Gabriel had won all his matches in the group stage and lost 2-3 to the Swedish junior.
“Our players have gained a lot from the training camp because they get to train under different coaches everyday and also compete with other players who have different styles of play,” informed Wee, who is also the secretary of the Table Tennis Association of Sarawak.
She added that during the camp, the duo, who both play with a ‘chopper’ style, were able to absorb different techniques from different coaches.
They were also able to find out the requirements for the chopper style of play and improve on their weaknesses.
“This is a very good experience for Gabriel and Alice who also were for the training camp and challenge last year in Austria and I can see that both have improved a lot after returning from Austria,” revealed Wee.
It was also a case of money well spent for both paddlers whose parents funded the trip.
Wee was hoping that more such opportunities could be given to Sarawak junior paddlers so that their standard can be uplifted to a higher level.
Gabriel and Alice were the only two players from Malaysia who attended the training camp cum competition.
A total of 41 boys and 31 girls from 45 countries competed for four to six slots for both boys and girls in the ITTF World Hopes Challenge team.
Accompanying the Sarawak duo were another coach Chua Chiaw Lian and Gabriel’s father.