As the dust settles…… October 28, 2007Posted by glenntepper in Glenn's point of view !.
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With only the semis and finals to come and most players having placed their rackets away for the last time we should reflect a little on “the good, the bad and the ugly”.
“The Good”[most points belong here]
- The organisers, led by Brian Buckton’s team of administrators, umpires, referees, drivers, results staff, and volunteers. “Hats off” to a magnificent showing of hospitality and organisation, which has ITTF eagerly awaiting their next application.
- The World Cadet Challenge Boy’s Team final will be remembered by all those present for a long time. Europe-Asia the dream final, 2-2 in matches, 2-2 in games. An inspired move by the European girls involving the South African school children, adding both to the atmosphere and Europe’s chances.
- The progress of the “developing” continents Latin America and Africa, Marcelo Aguirre of Paraguay, and the Assar brothers of Egypt, bright lights on the horizon.
- Europe boys give some reason to hope that the Europe-Asia rivalry much needed for the future of the sport will survive.
- The “smiling korean” Yang Ha Eun, despite minimal english, making many friends off the table and impressing on the table.
- Lily Zhang of USA, barely visible over the end of the table, won a healthy share of her matches, and with 4 World Cadet Challenges remaining gives North America some reason for optimism
- Media coverage could have been better. An important area to showcase our events.
- More children could have been exposed and inspired in the spectators area. The motivation provided to an 8 year old watching world class table tennis should not be underestimated. Children are also great copiers and this is one of the few chances for existing juniors to “copy” the best in the world.
- Failure of the much improved African’s and Latin American’s to convert at the business end of the tournament.
- North America and Oceania still have a long way to go. The system in North America and the geography of the widely dispersed Oceania countries does not help….
When the Wind Blows Hard.. October 27, 2007Posted by Mikael in Mikael's opinion.
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.. You still need to be able to steer the ship to shore.
Plenty of tired cadet age athletes in the Good Hope Center today . This particular event is a true test of mental character and physical conditioning.
Some of the youngsters came up flat today . The promising Paraguayan Marcello Aguirre was one of them, playing the complete day as he would have something to loose. Marcelo was in deep trouble with Khaled Assar from Egypt in the round of sixteen but managed to squeeze out a win. Apparently this was not enough to generate self confidence and belief, instead his performance in the quarterfinal followed the same footprints , as he fell in five games against the much more aggressive Tomas Le Breton from France.
The Latin American team in general have come up short in this event. They are less prepared and lack confidence and drive in important moments.
On the PLUS side of things we witnessed another solid day of high level performance from the Korean girl Yang Ha Eun. She is solid as a rock and has been unbelievable consistent from day one in the training camp. Yang , a right handed shake-hand player is born in 1994 leaving her with another two years to go in Cadet events all over the world…
Three good junior matches in front of our eyes today;
Andy Pereira the crowd-favourite here in Cape Town failed to convert on a 7-2 advantage in the sixth game vs the Japanese defender Muchi, who played well , but in this case got the victory handed to him by a suddenly quiet and passive Cuban boy.
Paul Drinkhall lost two matches in his group and was clearly defeated by the left-handed Korean SEO Hyun Deok , a positive surprise with his clean and explosive techniques.
Elizabeta Samara squeezed out the narrowest of victories against the Japanese Wakamiya in the best junior girls match so far.
Tight at the top as World Junior Circuit first stage concludes… October 27, 2007Posted by glenntepper in Glenn's point of view !, Uncategorized.
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Group A Girls
Elizabeta Sameera[ROU], Misako Wakamiya[JPN] and KIM Min Hee[KOR] all finished 4-1 in matches, causing a 3 way tie. When matches between the 3 were counted, it was 2-1 in matches, 7-7 in games with only points differential seperating the three girls. Sameera playing the last match against Wakamiya was somewhat fortunate to escape playing a little too predictably, but still winning 4-3 and progressing directly to the semi-finals courtesy of a 135-129[1.05] points differential. Kim was second with 136-136[1.0] and Wakamiya third with 128-134[[0.96] qualifying for the final stages but playing quarter finals.
Girls Group B
Zhang Mo[CAN] booked her place straight to the semi-finals with a 5-0 scoreline never being extended beyond 4-2.
Elena Troshneva[RUS] lost only to Mo, and with all others was also not extended beyong 4-2.
An “up and down” and somewhat moody on the court Ma Wenting[NOR] completed the triology of finalists from Group 4 with a 3-2 record.
Boys Group A
See Hyun Deok[KOR] was not extended beyond the 4-2 match with Paul Drinkhall[ENG], qualifying for the semifinal direct. The last match of the round between these 2 was however extremely tight with high quality topspin exchanges the norm.
A three way countback for 2nd place saw Drinkall 2nd, Borna Kovac[CRO] third and the unlucky Benjamin Rogiers relegated to the 7-12 playoff, despite beating Kovac 12-10 in the 7th in his last match.
Boys Group B
Despite a very slow start to the tournament, losing to Cuban crowd favorite Andy Perreira of Cuba in his first match, and looking in trouble early against Australia’s Trent Carter in his second match, European Champion Mikhail Paykov of Russia, finally clicked into gear, only being troubled by Kentaro Miuchi of Japan, 4-2 to go straight to the semis.
Abdel-Kader Salifou[FRA] had tied for first, but had lost 0-4 to Paykov.
The third and final place was taken by Kentaro Muichi of Japan in a countback with Andy Perriera courtesy of a 4-2 victory over him in the final match epic of classic topspin-defense that broght the crowd to their feet.
ITTF World Junior Championships 2012 in Cape Town ? October 27, 2007Posted by Mikael in Mikael's opinion.
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The interest for the ITTF World Junior Championships is continuing to grow all around the world. As it stands now the next in line could be the South African Table Tennis Board , who are getting ready to present a bid for the 2012 or 2013 World Juniors.
This morning ITTF staff and officials were invited to inspect the Grand Hall located in the Grand Hotel Casino Resort. Huge place – 240 room capacity , twelve full flight restaurants catering to all the cousins of the world , complete ice rink, bowling alley and just all entertainment you could imagine. The Grand Hall is a completely new venue with a capacity of 6000 spectators opening all kind of options for the organizers.
“We are definitely interested to bid for the World Juniors in 2012 or 2013 and i hope that the event this week have provided the ITTF with enough confidence for future adventoures said Ganief Faatar the President of the SATTB.
No worries there Ganief – we are more than HAPPY.
So… Great opportunities in the Grand Hall – But also excellent possibilities in the Good Hope Center..Anyway as i said before i have a feeling that the ITTF will come back here sooner rather than later..
Paraguay-a new World Power in Table Tennis? October 27, 2007Posted by glenntepper in Glenn's point of view !, Uncategorized.
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China, Japan, Germany, France and……….Paraguay?
The first 4 all will certainly recognise as table tennis powerhouses but Paraguay?
Marcelo Aguirre and Sandy Gavilan have already caused major ripples in World Junior Circuit events across Latin America, often travelling alone because their federation cant afford the additional cost of a coach and manager.
Marcelo is the perhaps the brighest prospect to come from Latin America for many years. The talented lefthander with a wrist akin to a young Waldner, highlighted his credentials early in the tournament with 2 victories against eventual winners Europe.
In the group stage of the singles he demolished Korean Kim Ji Kwan 13-11, 11-8, 11-1 as well as a hard fought victory over another talent Adam Hmam of Tunisia 3-2.
The last 16 was a tough gig. Trailing 1-3 and 9-10 against one of the growing number of top level Egyptian juniors, Khalid Assar, he fought back taking the 7th game 12-10, after leading 5-0.
He now meets Le Breton of France, in the quarter final, the winner moving into the medal round.
Will this be a first World Championship medal for Paraguay?
Sandy Gavilan, puntuated her arrival as a player with a strong 3-2 victory over Rika Suzuki of Japan in the group stage to qualify for the last 16.
The hardworking Gavilan’s fight only ended in the last 16 after a brave struggle with Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong, leading 2-1 before going down to the more experienced Lee 4-2.
Manufacturers-get in early with your contracts…….
Keen observers of table tennis-watch out for Paraguay…..
Glue and rubbers…… October 27, 2007Posted by glenntepper in Uncategorized.
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“As of 1 January 2008 for ITTF Junior events (U-18), and as of 1 September 2008 for all other ITTF events, the ITTF will implement a new racket testing programme and protocol, using the Enez* and RAE** instruments to ensure that all rackets used by players are free of volatile compounds except water”
To the juniors:
- Have you tried playing with the new glues? What has been your experiences?
- Have you played with the new “hi-tension” rubbers? What has been your experience?
- Have you tried the oil optimizers? What has been your experience?
FASTER-SLOWER-MORE SPIN-LESS SPIN-EASE OF USE-AVAILABILITY
The floor is yours…….
Cuban asleep early but again shows his class! October 26, 2007Posted by glenntepper in Uncategorized.
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Talented lefthander, Andy Perriera pulled off the first big upset of the World Junior Circuit finals, this morning defeating European Junior Champion Mikhail Paykov of Russia.
This afternoon it was “back to earth with a thud” as Africa’s future hope Omar Assar of Egypt, bounded to a 3-1 lead, with Perreira playing a much more passive game.
Fortunately the “Jazzman” Perriera awoke at the right time, clawing his way back with his trademark fist pumping and screams of encouragement in a fluctuating last 2 games.
With the scores at 2-3 for Assar, Perreira with rising confidence and increased activity raced to an 8-0 and 9-1 lead, before again falling to more passive play, eventually winning 11-8.
In the final game, Assar led 10-8, but failed to convert, while Perreira performed a “houdini” coming back from 1-3 and 8-10 in the final game, to keep his record intact.
To play at 3-1 and at match ball, the same way you play at 0-0 is the challenge for Assar.
For the “Jazzman”, to play in the same way and with the same levels of energy and intensity when playing someone he is expected to beat as he does when playing a higher ranked player with “nothing to lose” is his challenge.
All is a learning experience, and a loss is only a loss if you learn nothing from it……
Juniors on the Floor October 26, 2007Posted by Mikael in Mikael's opinion.
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The ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals is now underway.. Two groups of six athletes with the top three advancing to the quarterfinals.
We are quite happy with both the quality and the diversity-aspect of the 2007 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals. Six continents are represented and for sure some of these players will make a name of themselves.. In fact some has already done that and are very competitive professional players.
So… Lets take a look on what we have here in Cape Town in terms of the MOVERS ; “Lesser known talented players that quickly will advance their level of competitiveness at the ITTF world scene – junior or senior level disregarded .. and… SHAKERS; “Full flight, hard to beat , in your face junior players – ready to put a scare in any top 50 ranked senior player in the world”
Top Five MOVERS at the ITTF WJCF;
1. Andy PEREIRA – CUBA ; Brilliant left-hander with tons of talent. This young fellow trains for the moment in Sweden and is becoming a constant threat to anyone coming his way. Just ask the European Champion Mikhail Paykov who had to surrender in this mornings opening match 2-4
2. Omar ASSAR – EGYPT ; First year junior who put together a strong run at various junior events this year. Quality in service and returning might still be an issue at this level , but Omar is an extremely hard worker with some real upsides that will drive him forward in a heartbeat. Bundesliga someone ?
3. SIM Kai Xin Zena and LI Isabelle Siyun – SINGAPORE ; Two extremely young female players. Li is born 1994 !!! Both are using the defensive style with sound techniques and lots of patience considering their young age.. Interesting..
4. KIM Min Hee – KOREA REP ; Strong showing on the circuit this year despite having another two years to go in the junior ranks. Presents herself with solid , safe and explosive techniques. Asia will as it seems continue their domination at the Junior girls level for many years to come.
5. Benjamin Rogiers – BEL ; Not the most brilliant player from a technical and perhaps tacticalstandpoint , but knows how to prepare and compete. Seems to be ready to make the jump to the national senior team in Belgium which will give him access to frequent opportunities against top level players. I like his work ethic at the table.
And now… “THE SHAKERS”;
1. Elizbeta SAMARA – ROM ; Time is now or never. Has improved her physical status gradually and should also be ready to stand up and take the fight against any high ranked Asian junior players in the world. Planning might be an issue for this talented left-hander who desperately needs to fin her own way and lift her ambition level above normal European standards.
2. Paul DRINKHALL – ENG ; Rock solid competitor for his age who is running hard towards Olympic Games in Beijing (perhaps) and of course for London 2012. Stands trial on a weekly basis in the German Bundesliga and is doing well. Still some mental aspects to solve in order to build more consistency in his performance curves.
3. MA Wenting – NOR ; With a Norwegian passport on its way this girl will soon be given full access to some less talented European girls in her age. Could be a dominant force on the circuit next year.
4. SEO Hyun Deok – KOR ; Like any other Korean male player he could easily take off at any moment in time . Facing tough competition inside Korea to reach the senior national team and will have to learn the hard way by being successful at big sized qualification events in his home country . That is indeed a tough school to attend.
Rest day-Training Day… October 25, 2007Posted by glenntepper in Glenn's point of view !.
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The Cadets have taken a day break between the teams and the individual events and an excellent day was had by all visiting the Cape of Good Hope and seeing whales, sea-lions and penguins.
Meanwhile, all the juniors arrived for the World Junior Circuit finals and spent the day practising in the competition hall.
Draws have now been completed. See :
Cadet matches start 9.00am. Junior matches 10.40am. Tomorrow…..stay tuned
One Fine Day ! October 24, 2007Posted by Mikael in Mikael's opinion.
Tags: china, germany, ittf, world cadet challenge
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I would definitely mark down Wednesday the 24Th of October in the year 2007 as a very good day for our sport.
It all started early enough as the ITTF officials and staff on duty were invited to join the Premier of the Western Cape for an early bird breakfast 0730 this morning at the SAS Radission Hotel , waterfront location.
The Premier himself Mr. Ebrahim Rasool , was a magnificent host with Table Tennis close to his heart. Mr Rasool , was like many of his now governing colleagues in this country deeply in trouble during the time of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. In the prison he , like many of the other prisoners, often gathered at the avaliable table to as he said “settle the score”.
I was the champion for at least two month said Mr Rasool and also urged the local organizers and the South African Table Tennis Board to use Table Tennis as tool in the ongoing battle against drugs and crime in the troubled areas of South Africa. Table Tennis definitely played a role in the process of overthrowing the Apartheid government in this country. Table Tennis was part of a revolution and should now be encouraged start a revolution on its own said the Premier. Why not bring Table Tennis to all our twenty – one communities around Cape Town .. I am ready to support it he said.
I just have a feeling that the ITTF will back in Cape Town sooner rather than later. The SATTB announced their plans of bidding for the ITTF World Junior Championships in 2012 or 2013 with more to come after that.
When the inspired German Christoph Schmidl defeated the Japanese Taiyo Nomura to secure the European victory in a tremendously well played and hard fought Cadet Boy’s team final the watch stopped at 19;25 this evening – twelve hours after the Premier of the Western Cape opened the proceedings at the Radisson Hotel.
The never stopping time now shows 23;08 in my hotel room at the Cape Sun Hotel . When i wake up in the morning and look out of the window i have a “in my face” view of the powerful Table Mountain .
As Glenn always says ; Every Table is a Table Tennis Table.. Good morning Mountain !