Here is a look at the eight athletes now qualified for the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore , coming up in August 2010.
5 STAR ***** = WORLD – CLASS with excellent possibilities to pursue a top flight professional carrier in Table Tennis
Koki NIWA – Japan (Cadet Boy) ; Already at such a young age a great innovator of the game . Clearly the best player in the world for this age. Can be slightly soft at times – but compensates with nice speed and spin change-ups to confuse his opponent. Very strong service. Will be very interesting to see if Japan in Niwa finally has an international winner or not…
YANG Ha Eun – Korea (Cadet Girl) ; Battled high expectations here in Japan and did not reach her highest playing standard. Great thinker of the game . Makes excellent use of the golden ten seconds between rallies. I like her low position in rallies and strong technical talent.
Simon GAUZY – France (Cadet Boy) ; Clearly the best European Cadet Boy. Splendid shot making and at times amazing technical creativity are strong trademarks. Can score points from all angles and from different positions with both backhand and forehand. Competes well and also showed excellent practice habits in the training camp leading up to the 2009 Cadet Challenge .
4STAR **** = VERY GOOD . Dominating performances to be expected at the International junior level . Will quickly emerge as a top-level junior player.
Ayuka TANIOKA – Japan (Cadet Girl) ; Very safe and sound defensive player for her age. Must however improve her attacking skills in order to become a long-lasting threat to the higher world ranking orders.
3STAR *** = GOOD . Talent is definitely there – but may not cover the complete picture just yet . Great future , but will need to study all aspects of the game hard and long in order to become top players.
Hampus SÖDERLUND – Sweden (Cadet Boy) ; With the current lack of obvious international level talents in Swedish Table Tennis (Scary thought !!) this hard-working 15-year-old will get plenty of chances the next few years to establish himself as a Table Tennis professional . Must study the mental aspects of international table tennis and learn to play more relaxed when the pressure is on. May lack the necessary fluency in is technique – but will continue to work hard and improve all the time. Excellent physical conditioning level.
Suthasini SAWETTABUT – Thailand (Cadet Girl) ; Mysterious hard-working girl who continues to surprise with good results and amaze coaches with innovative practice methods as well as a seldom seen work ethic . Lack of proper sparring at home will soon enough become a real problem for her and her demanding coach. Showed however real guts when she pulled up her socks and came back from 1-2 and 3-7 down vs Petrissa Solja with the team title on the line. Impressive !
Bernadette SZOCS – Romania (Cadet Girl) ; Upbeat personality and a great fighter that had a great run here in Tokyo. Become better and better day by day . Topped off a good week with a fresh and fearless performance in the singles when she ousted the European nr one Petrissa Solja from Germany in the quarterfinal to secure a place in Singapore. Must improve her forehand technique in order to reach new heights.
2STAR ** = AVERAGE . Good international player for her/his age with plenty of the work to do . Slightly below Expectations.
YIN Hang – China (Cadet Boy) ; Good results at the table – but careless playing style built only on power and speed will not cut it – neither in China nor at the international level. We could see this young boy win the Youth Olympic Games and never see him again after that.