04 Feb 2017

Home later this year for an ITTF Challenge tournament and ITTF World Junior Circuit event; already Thailand has hosted an international gathering.

Bangkok, the country’s capital city, was the recent home for the South East Asia Regional Hopes and Challenge Week. Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, proceedings commenced on Monday 23rd January and concluded on Sunday 29th January.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

A total of ten boys and ten girls attended, the venue being the National Sport Complex; premises which provided first class facilities for both play and accommodation.

Under the guidance of Eva Jeler, during the 1970s a member of the Yugoslav national team and more recently one of Germany’s national coaches, two training were held per day.

Additionally, four coaches were present; all valuable assistants but most importantly able to learn from the experience of Eva Jeler. Each day, the training sessions were reviewed, any problems analysed; but more importantly solutions and ways forward were suggested.

Thailand’s Phubase Arphasat determined, the fighting spirit was evident (Photo: courtesy of Eva Jeler)

One effect was that the coaches gained knowledge; most importantly the young players improved.

“All participants were highly motivated; this training week was a real success. The last two days, the Challenge Tournament was played. The players showed a high standard of play; the spectators saw wonderful matches. We all enjoyed not only playing table tennis and making friends but also the sunny weather and excellent Thai food”, Eva Jeler

Singapore emerged as the most successful association on duty.

Success for Singapore, Izaac Quek Yong, the boys’ champion (Photo: courtesy of Eva Jeler)

Isaac Quek Yong won the Boys’ Singles event with colleague Ryan Er Jin Heng finishing in sixth place in the group stage; meanwhile the Girls’ Singles competition witnessed an all Singaporean final. Zhou Jinyi accounted for Ser Lin Qian to secure the top prize.

“Our heartiest congratulations to our young athletes and their coaches; their accomplishments serve as a good example that our youth development programmes are making a positive impact in grooming the next generation of youth players. I am so proud of them and I also look forward to their performance at the upcoming ITTF Hopes Week and Challenge 2017, Bangkok Thailand.”  Ellen Lee PBM, President of the Singapore Table Tennis Association

A successful venture; it was and the result of the Asian Table Tennis Union’s Hopes initiative, which commenced in 2015, under the guidance of the ITTF Development Programme.

Thailand’s future, Wirakarn Tayapitak, third place in girls’ event Photo: courtesy of Eva Jeler)

Notably, Afshin Badiee, the Development Officer for the Asian Table Tennis Union, concentrated his attention away from East Asia; the area of the world where the table tennis powerhouses of China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea are to be found.

Thus regional Hopes Weeks were organized in South East, South, West and Middle Asia; the winners of each region were invited to the Asia Hopes Training Camp and Challenge.

“I personally attended the event in Bangkok and took the chance of talking to several coaches, players and their parents. Based on the very positive feedbacks I received we’re now planning to expand the next follow up camp with more players in a longer period; at the end we had an interesting challenge tournament with the great performance of all players”, Afshin Badiee

A successful venture thanks not only to the splendid efforts of Eva Jeler, also to the organizational skills of Piradej Pruttipruk, the President of the Table Tennis Association of Thailand and to Don Mudtangam, the Secretary-General. Both contributed immensely to a memorable occasion.

Player coaches and officials at the 2017 South East Asia Regional Hopes and Challenge Week (Photo: courtesy of Eva Jeler)

South East Asia Regional Hopes and Challenge Week: Results Boys’ Singles (Sunday 29th January)

South East Asia Regional Hopes and Challenge Week: Results Girls’ Singles (Sunday 29th January)

High Performance and Development Athletes