Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In order to gain a place in Luxembourg, the qualification phase concluded on Thursday 15th June, the closing date for “wild card” nominations. A selection panel met with three boys and three girls being selected.
“The number one goal is achieved: to encourage national associations to run talent Identification Programmes and also to promote and work with young talented players for future success and growth.” Daniela Gomes
Organised under the direction of Polona Cehovin (ITTF Director- Education and Training), Daniela Gomes (ITTF Development, Education and Training Projects Officer) and Dejan Papic (ITTF Education and Training Co-ordinator), a formidable coaching staff will be present in Luxembourg.
Li Xiaodong, once the mentor of Ma Long and Zhang Yining, former Olympic and World champion, will be the head coaches. They will be assisted by Gu Nan and Zheng Chaoying.
“A highly motivated group, with a strong vision of what they are trying to attain, is expected in Luxembourg; this is what is needed to benefit from this cutting edge programme which also includes daily educational sessions for coaches.” Daniela Gomes
Furthermore, it is from this group that the players, alongside their coaches, will be selected to represent the Hopes Team and a further training camp for the ITTF World Cadet Challenge to be held later in the year in Fiji.
Wild Card Recipients
Girls: Sophie Earley (Ireland), Helena Sommerova (Czech Republic), Sarvinoz Mirkadirova (Kazakhstan)
Boys: Stepan Brhel (Czech Republic), Alsuwailem Salem (Saudi Arabia), Amine Oueslati (Tunisia)
National associations represented: Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Guatemala, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Thailand, Tunisia, United States of America and Wales.
ITTF Hopes Week and Challenge: List of Selected Players (Thursday 23rd June)