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Silver in Caribbean, Exacting Challenge Faces North America in Pacific Island
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Filip Ilijevski ready for the fray  Photo By: <font color="800000"><b>First Time</font></b>

10/29/2012        Guam 2012 World Cadet Challenge (Click here to access this section)

Four players from Canada and four from the United States of America; Team North America is ready for the Challenge, ready for the ITTF Cadet Challenge in the Pacific island of Guam.

The intensity of competition starts on Tuesday 30th October 2012.

Allen Wang, Jonathan Ou, Isabel Chiu and Diane Jiang are the players from the United States of America; Alexander Moran, Filip Ilijevski, Christina Pui and Catherine Dauplaise are the Canadians in action.

Coach for the Boys’ Team is Canada’s Liu Yongjiang with Emilia Gheorghe from the United States being in charge of the girls.

First Time
Furthermore, it is the first time in the role for Maxime Suprenant.

“So far so good!” smiled Maxime Suprenant. “The organization actually exceeded my expectations.”

I am sure Maxime Suprenant speaks for everyone; Guam has responded and responded in style.

Wonderful Job
“The organizers are doing a wonderful job, things run smoothly, which makes also our job relatively easy”, continued the Canadian. “I believe that this will be the case also when the competition starts.”

Equally, I am sure that will be the situation.

Difficult to Repeat Puerto Rico
“Both our teams are competitive; for the girls it will be difficult to repeat the result from Puerto Rico but we will all be happy if they perform according to their current best”, continued Maxime Suprenant.

Canada’s Maxime Suprenant is the Team Manager.

In Puerto Rico, selecting from the squad of Lily Zhang, Anqi Luo, Erica Wu and Annie Coulombe; the North American Girls clinched the silver medal in the team event.

Young Team
“For the boys we have a young team this year; all four of them are cadets still next year so it’s a good learning opportunity for them and they will surely gain precious experience for next year”, added Maxime Surpenant. “They already proved that they perform well when under pressure as they qualified for the team on continental level.”

Valuable Training Camp
The pressure of competition now starts, the Training Camp is over; a most valuable experience for the players and thoroughly appreciated.

“Recently, in September I started working as the assistant coach at the national training centre in Canada thus the opportunity to see a coach of such high profile like Richard Prause in action is very useful and precious to me”, said Maxime Suprenant. “During the training camp I was active not only as Team Manager but tried to be helpful also during the practice, which is a great experience for me.”

Appreciated Efforts of Richard Prause
Certainly Maxime Suprenant was impressed and delighted with the first three days.

“I like the way the Head Coach planned the sessions and also the way coaches of different teams co-operated and interacted with the players”, continued the Canadian. “Everyone was very open and provided advice and assisted each player, no matter which team she or he was from; that’s great and it helped a lot in building a good and productive atmosphere during the training camp.”

Upbeat Coach
A delighted Team Manager and there was also a very pleased coach, Emilia Gheorghe, who had guided the United States Girls’ Team to the silver medal in Puerto Rico was equally upbeat.

“The Training Camp was very good; my girls and myself appreciated it a lot”, she said. “The training was at high level and Richard Prause provided very good insights, I believe it has helped in the fine tuning of my players; hopefully also the outcome will be good.”

Realistic Goals
Delighted with the Training Camp and Emilia Gheorge was realistic about the goals for the United States Girls’ Team in Guam. They are the fifth seeds.

“It will be difficult to reach the finals again, I’m very much aware of this fact as we have a completely new generation of girls this year and, Christina and Diane, are cadets still next year”, explained Emilia Gheorge. “However, I do believe that we are in the medal fight; we have to overcome Latin America or the World Hopes Team to get into the semis and we will deal with one at a time, I’m positive and I have faith in my team.”

First Stage
The first stage group in which the North American girls appear includes Europe, the World Hopes Team and Guam. Clearly Emilia Gheorge sees second place in the group behind Europe as the first target; thus the clash against the World Hopes Team may prove vital.

Asia, Latin America, Oceania and Africa form the corresponding group.

Present Again
Meanwhile, in the initial stage the North American Boys’ face Latin America, Europe and Guam with Jonathan Ou once again on duty; he is the one remember of the squad who played in Puerto Rico earlier this year.

“On both occasions the training was very good and I like that before the start of a competition, I have the opportunity to train with players from the other teams”, said Jonathan Ou. “Last year maybe we played more matches during the training camp, which I actually liked.”

A positive approach; considering a situation and turning it to his benefit; it is to be applauded.

A Good Chance
“It’s true my opponents can see me playing in a match but on the other hand it’s also a good opportunity for me to study their game”, continued Jonathan Ou. “I hope we will make it to the semis, I think that the chances of winning a medal are 50:50; we will do our best to make it happen.”

Certainly he has Jonthan Ou has an attitude to be admired; could it be that approach which tips matters 51:49 in favour of the North America?

The North American Team in Guam Photo by Lucelle Limaza Studio Photography



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