In this age, fifteen and sixteen things can happen overnight that makes young minds hesitate . Attack and aggressive play just like that becomes passive and without self-confidence. When the ITTF arranged for this particular age/group to appear at the YOG stage – we discussed many of these issues.. The conclusion was however overall positive and we clearly though that this was our best chance to present a world-class selection of young athletes at the games.
I think that we were proven right today. Both finals were if not fantastic at least very entertaining. Gu Yuting from China is the first YOG champion for girls and the Japanese wonder-boy Koki Niwa won the boys title .
I will come back with a more solid take on the specific players later on – but it was nice to see how Koki NIwa this time was mostly hard work and focus in a way that makes me believe that the future , even near future might look bright. He does have game the wonder-boy. This is not to be disputed. Kudos also to Li Isabelle – who showed plenty of confidence when she took down Sutashini Sawettabut from Thailand in the semis. Li also managed to put up a good fight in the final – much to the joy of close to 3000 spectators cheering wildly..
We finished off a long day in the venue with a nice dinner together with the Gatien family of four – Tepper, Dainton and myself.