29 Aug 2016

Preparing for both the Asarel 2016 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open and the six day Arab Team Championships in Hammamet, both commencing on Wednesday 24th August, a training camp involving players from the host nation and from the United Arab Emirates was held in Plovdiv; after Sofia, the second largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia.

Overall a total of 30 players attended, representing a wide range of age groups from Under 13 years of age to senior; proceedings commenced on Wednesday 3rd August and concluded on Friday 19th August.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Head coach for the initiative was Aleksey Yefremov with matters organised locally by Ani Sarieva from the Stoyanstroy Club and financial support provided by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Sport.

Stoyastroy Club

Notably, the Stoyanstroy Club, with the support of Olympic Solidarity had previously hosted both ITTF/PTT Level One and ITTF Level Two courses, whilst also being the home for training camp prior the inaugural Asarel ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open.

“The head of United Arab Emirates delegation, Mr. Ahmad Albahar, was most satisfied; all the objectives of the training camp were met, the United Arab Emirates is looking forward to good results in the Arab Team Championships.” Aleksey Yefremov

Once again, thanks to the untiring efforts of Stojan Sariev and Ani Sarieva, the Stoyanstroy Club proved perfect hosts. Two halls were available, a total of 13 table tennis tables, 1,500 balls for multi-ball exercises, about one hundred three star balls for practice plus and more than enough fruit, coffee, water. Simply nothing was missing.

Two sessions each day

At the training camp, two sessions were held each day, each of three hours with the finishing time being 7.00pm.

Technical aspects were addressed but with major tournaments on the horizon, a major emphasis was placed on tactical aspects; thus practices to meet individual needs, including multi-ball exercises were high on the agenda.

“It was good experience to exchange knowledge between countries from Asia and Europe. All participants were satisfied with this kind of preparation and all hoping for future cooperation.” Aleksey Yefremov

Understandably physical training was part of the itinerary, as was service and receive.


Players and coaches at the training camp in Plovdiv (Photo: courtesy of Aleksey Yefremov)

Eyes focused on Rio de Janeiro

Notably the host nation’s Denislav Kodjabashev was present, a Class 10 player, he has his eyes focused on the forthcoming Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and he is very much a medal contender.

However, he was not the only high level Bulgarian player present; Krasev Petyo, Alexandrov Teodor, Aneliya Karova and Elitsa Zamfirova in addition to Krasimira and Maria Yovkova were also on duty alongside several promising young Bulgarian players.

Experience and youth

Meanwhile, from the United Arab Emirates experienced players in the guise of Rashed Mohamad and Jassem Linjawi attended, alongside aspiring young players Abdoulla Albalooshi, Abdulla Almohauseni, Salah Alboalooshi and Essa Alblooshi.

A most successful project with outstanding co-operation and support; pertinently Deian Georgiev, head coach of Bulgaria National Team was present to assist as were Nadezhda Stoyanova, Zhana Gencheva and Karol Szarmash.


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