04 Mar 2017

The year 2016 marked the start of the Rough Diamonds initiative, a project aimed at players in the Under 13 to Under 15 age group, who have already demonstrated ability on the international scene but need their talents honing to reach a higher level.

Organised under the auspices of ITTF Education and Training from Tuesday 6th to Monday 12th September, the China Table Tennis-Europe in Luxembourg was the home for the initial training camp that formed the programme.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Notably China’s Li Xiaodong and Zhang Yining were the coaches in action; for many years Li Xiaodong guided the fortunes of Ma Long, whilst many would argue that Zhang Yining, Olympic and World champion is the greatest female table tennis player of all time.

“The expert coaches use an individual approach to connect and help rough diamonds use their ability to learn by understanding each failure along the way and learning from it”, Daniela Gomes, Development and Education and Training Projects Officer.

Now in 2017 the initiative is set to double; two nine day training camps are to be organized:

Otocec, Slovenia: Monday 25th September – Wednesday 4th October

China Table Tennis College-Europe, Luxembourg: December (dates to be confirmed)

High Performance and Development Athletes Daniela Gomes