So .. Ladies and Gentlemen its time to , as the UK newspaper The Times “said” this morning Lets “Ring It On” – The London 2012 game is about to start and Table Tennis the singles events are upon us.
Good Playing Conditions
Had the opportunity to walk around a few days in the Excel N1 arena by now. The playing conditions are good, also confirmed by Jean Michel Saive when he was interviewed at an ITTF media gathering yesterday night. Jean Mi praised the playing conditions and talked about the fact that the ball, according to him bounced well on the nicely dressed tables used here . Could very well be that the venue plays just a smidgen “slower” than normal, which in-itself should benefit some of the older more seasoned athletes in the draw. Good also for the defensive players in the draw – lets not forget Joo Saehyuk when speculating - a player clearly working on some improvements the last year or so..
The Sea of Blue
Personally i think that the light blue flooring will become a topic for discussion especially among fans watching the event in front of their TV. Even if it is too early to judge this one, i am adding a small question-mark for the change from the traditional red to this color combination. On the other hand .. Could it be that i have become a traditionalist resisting or reacting negatively to change ?? – God forbid !
With the Future in Mind
Stopped for a chat with two younger players during one of the training sessions yesterday . Both of them, i have been following closely for a while now as they have made several appearances in ITTF GJP world title events the last five to seven years . Marcello AGUIRRE from Paraguay has been the poster boy for the new Latin American generation of top players since he came into the picture as an ITTF With the Future in Mind scholarship holder 2006. Talented young boy for sure . Remember that he still is only nineteen years old and has everything to learn basically. Did play and practice in Sweden for two years and in Germany for one year (went back 2010) without really i would say understanding the need for hard grinding work. Its now up to Marcello himself to work it out . Play Pro or Fade Away to become i would imagine a regular qualifier from the Latin American region to top events – even future Olympic Games without having to break much sweat. Lets hope for the PRO thing to work out – but i kind of doubt it. Marcello is currently looking for a club to play for next season and in my mind he is still worth a shot .
Mr Soumayjit GHOSH from India was the other ITTF GJP protegee in action, training with Marcello . Here we have a multi-talented young Indian boy , just graduated from a good junior career, ready to take in the world in London..and I would hope for real in Rio 2016. First laid my eyes on this young player at the 2005 World Cadet Challenge and from that point Ghosh has been a regular at many of our top junior events. He will , for the second straight season, spend time with Peter Karlsson in Falkenberg, Sweden – this time competing for the Falkenberg TTC in the Swedish top league..
Two young boys , at this point in their careers perhaps far from being mature professionals and strong enough to produce an upset or two already in these games. At the same time i wouldn’t count them out completely as they stand with a reasonable draw ( Aguirre up against Didukh from Ukraine and Ghosh facing Tsuboi from Brazil ) to work with come the opening day of the singles events.
Now.. time to pack the bag for the opening cermony of the 2012 London Games - Ring It On !