by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Overall, a total of 12 players attended, all being 10 or 11 years of age; in addition to four boys and three girls being present from Chile; two boys and one girl travelled from neighbouring Argentina, whilst one boy journeyed from Brazil and one from Ecuador.
“It was somewhat strange because of the difference in the reaction of the players. Some of them were better in practice and some really competitive when it came to playing matches; I was delighted when it came to the last days that we could see a real improvement of the group, especially how they had all responded to the goals of the training camp.” Lincon Yasuda
Matters concluded with the Challenge tournament, the target being a place in the Latin American Hopes Week and Challenge.
“The last day they played for the classification for the continental phase. Simply on that day anything could happen; kids are so unpredictable!” Lincon Yasuda
Eventually, after intense competition, Argentina’s Manuela Pereyra and Chile’s and Maria Valenzuela secured the places for girls after a triple tie with Brazil’s Karina Shiray; the boys to gain qualification places were Chile’s Renato De La Jara and Ecuador’s Joshua Robayo.
“The training centre was very good; everyone from the Chilean Table Tennis Federation did their very best to make everyone welcome. I was well received as were the players and coaches. We had the best possible conditions for practice and for the tournament.” Lincon Yasuda
A most successful week and from the group who knows what names may in the next decade become prominent.