by Per Hällström, Press Officer, Safir International
Notably very young players are once again competing, from Russia a total of 38 players have travelled to Örebro; three members of the party are not yet ten years old.
All are born in 2009, Anna Chertova on Tuesday 31st March, Nikita Rybakov on Thursday 14th May and Aleksandra Bokova on Wednesday 20th May. All are very ambitious and come from the Moscow region. Nikita Rybakov started to play when four years old, for the girls it was one year earlier.
“Me and Aleksandra started playing when we were three years old.” Anna Chertova.
From the very beginning they all liked table tennis; they were all five years old when they first joined a club and started playing with other young players.
“We all practise around four hours a day, six days a week.” Aleksandra Bokova.
All have high ambitions and their future goals are to become top players in Russia and hopefully join the national team. They’re enjoying the stay in Örebro and are able to play many matches against other players from all over the world.
They also watch the best players on duty and they want to learn so they can continue developing their own way of playing; Germany’s Dmitrij Ovtcharov is their favourite player but when I ask Anna and Aleksandra if they have any female player, they both a little surprisingly answer the Russian player, Elza Shibaeva.
In the mini cadet boys’ singles event in Örebro, Nikita Rybajov negotiated the group stage before losing to Sweden’s Elias Sjögren (11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7). Likewise, in the mini cadet girls’ singles competition Aleksandra Bokova advanced to the second round where compatriot Darina Nizamova ended progress (11-4, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5).
Meanwhile, in consolation mini-cadet girls’ singles competition Anna Chertova was beaten in round two by the host nation’s Alice Nilsson (8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5).