by Ian Marshall, Editor
Once again, as just under two years ago, first class conditions welcomed the players, coaches and officials; a setting ideal for learning and for the young aspirants to improve.
Proceedings organised by Croatia’s Neven Cegnar, the Development Manager for the European Table Tennis Union, there has a record response, one to surpass previous years. Overall, 15 European national associations are represented, a total of 41 players, with a very equal gender balance of 21 boys and 20 girls being in attendance. All born between Monday 1st January 2007 and Friday 31st December 2010, they are accompanied by 19 coaches.
Notably present is from the Luxembourg Table Tennis Federation is Martin Osterman alongside Xia Cheng. They are working alongside China’s Chen Bin, many times the advisor of Ding Ning, the reigning Olympic and World champion, in addition to Liu Jia Yi, Wang Yan and Zheng Chaoying.
The name of Liu Jia Yi is one to note and no stranger to Europe. Currently, the Singapore men’s coach, for many years the England national coach, he guided the nation to success in both the cadet boys’ team and junior boys’ team events at the European Youth Championships. Furthermore, he was the coach sitting courtside in 2005 in the Dominican Republic, when England struck gold in the boys’ team competition at the ITTF World Cadet Challenge. A very wise group of advisors is present.
An intense week, at the end of proceedings, the six best rated players, three boys and three girls, will be nominated for the ITTF Hopes Week and Challenge and for the final Eurotalents Selection Camp in Otocec, Slovenia, to be held later in the year in October.