Plenty of Flat Tires !

Day FOUR  of competition,  but also, more importantly ; DAY SEVEN  in India for the youngsters in the Cadet Challenge. Consequently it was plenty of flat tires carried around in the courts when the individual events started today. A hot and humid venue,  with limited use of the air-conditioned system and groups of six players of course didn’t help  the young players to regain the  energy either.

However as usually some athletes stepped forward and some went down. All in all this is the beauty of the singles competition . Long gone is the safe and sound comfort of the team event where coaches and team mates takes turn to push. In the singles qualification – you are alone to judge , you are alone to drive.

A short summary of a long days sounds like this ;  FIVE FLAT TIRES is maximum score – in can we say mental and physical exhaustion , mildly speaking. You know what i mean.

  • Charles DENG , USA – two flat tires ;  Started off by losing to the tall Aussie  Dillon CATHCART  in tight affair and went downhill from there. However he never gave up and played much stronger than many of his two-year older opponents throughout the day.
  • Thameur MAMIA, Tunisia – four flat tires ;  The tall Tunisian dropped a close encounter to the  Utkarsh GUPTA from India in the first round. Game over for him.
  • Abhishek YADAV , the talented left-handed Indian – five flat tires ; Good touch is not enough when the legs are left at the hotel. Disappointing start – No energy to finish.
  • Gremlis ARVELO , Venezuela – four flat tires ;  Talented young girl with perhaps the best hand of them all. On the other hand NO legs and NO energy – lost 4-11,0-11,3-11 versus Laura Pfefer from France ..
  • Thomie MOSSEMBA, Congo – five flat tires ;  Looked pretty good in the training camp prior to the event. Didnt play one single match in the team event as the nr four in Team Africa. Tough call for her and todays results was not exactly a hurrah either ; Total points won ; 25 in three singles matches..


Three wins for Magdalena SZCZERKOWSKA Poland

Other than that the Junior circuit finals got underway today finishing the initial group matches mostly according to the seeding.

Lets stay with The UP;s ;

Felipe Olivares was down 0-2 versus Sathiyan GNANASEKARAN from India in the final group match of the day but managed to take four straight games to advance to the quarterfinals. 

Pierre-Luc THERIAULT the Canadian lefthander from Quebec was NO pushover for his opponents today. The hard-working “Leaf”  moved well and played up to his capacity the whole day. The four straight games win versus GNANASEKARAN , nr 61 on the U18 World Rank ,  is probably the best result for Canadian Table Tennis this year..?!

Every time I happen to see Magdalena SZCZERKOWSKA play table tennis the future looks bright for European female TT. She clinched three wins out of three today . However a close look at the u 18 world ranking is showing as low as nr 42 .. ?   Confidence ?



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4 responses to “Plenty of Flat Tires !

  1. I think that the flat tires come from a lack of mental (no. 1) and physical (no. 2) fitness. Most of those who made it to the second stage are the more than 1 time comers to the CC. Very clear in the girls event. These events teach the players and coaches the importance of endurance. The mental part comes sometimes from satisfaction with the performance of the teams part. Rewinding the tape and starting from scratch in the singles is not that easy, especially for kids in this age. Plus an early hit (loss) in the first or second match usually affects him in the multiple-match rally of the first day of the singles event. The possibility of losing a match or two and qualifying is not mentally accepted to the youngsters.

  2. You are right. The cadet challenge is a tough event physichally as well as mentally. You play all the time with very little rest and the matches keep coming back. It is up to the coaches and players to find a way to maximize the learning experience. It is also an event that you will have great benefits from the second time you are qualifed. Africa as an exampel does have many last year cadet players here and will have to come with a new team next year.

    • This is mainly because of the new rule implemented last year with only one player from each country. This makes it difficult for younger players to beat their older colleagues in the continental championships. And thus expect more last year cadets and no many time players from now on. This will be true in continents with tough competition between the local players.

  3. It is also up to the continental body to tap into ITTF programmes. The early talent ID project ITTF Hopes is important and should trigger additional options with the continents – especially now since we are moving into a structure with MORE ITTF presence in the developing continents . I would like to see some new ITTF Africa events targeting young players – Hopes – Minicadets cadets – juniors perhaps in a top 12 format.

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