Pohang, Korea – a very early morning in late July 2010.
The ITTF World Hopes Team and head coach Dejan Papic will be put to test today afternoon when the Korean Hopes Challenge opens with a team match between the ITTF WHT 2010 and the Korean National team for the same age. Luckily we have , with the format being six vs six players , been able to pick up a few extra players attending the training camp in Daejon to complete the ITTF lineup. Stay tuned for live blogging from Korea tonight. The match starts around 1700 local time.
Learning with a capital L
Yesterday was mostly about transport and relaxing for the young kids.. I call them kids with a capital K. Because in this age group , twelve and under it is of course big eyes of learning that counts the most. Thought that we had a good meeting with the fifteen or so coaches and parents travelling along with the team yesterday evening. Head coach Dejan Papic made a nice emotional presentation based on his experiences from last year with a very solid and talented group of players.
Different team in 2010
The team 2010 is a bit different. First of all fewer players ; four + four ( which from a group-sense weakens the team) and not as advanced skill wise, perhaps except Victor Hung Ka Tak from Hong Kong who is a very energetic young player and Marie Migot from France who looks very well-educated in the good solid coaching hands of Mrs Claude Bergeret .She is doing a good job mentoring the French players in this age. But as we said yesterday – lets see where these kids are at this time next year. Just a quick look at Aaron Junior Wilson from Trinidad – always smiling and at the table flashing a world-class – very sensitive wrist is enough to make you jump of joy.
Great Job by the Korean organizers
But learning it is and learning it will be – starting today with a team match. Great job by the Koreans so far organizing this event ! Discussions are already running for next year and it will be, moving forward , an interesting task to try to strengthen the cooperation with the Korean Junior Table Tennis Association.
As usually the ITTF Global Junior Programme Director Mr Raul Calin is on his mark here in Korea flashing his skills in competition management ;
On the other hand.. I am happy to report that he also can enjoy the good life..Team Manager Zita Pidl is also in fine form sorting out life for those lost souls , like myself , not knowing what to do…;-
Have a nice one out there.. With the Future in Mind !