by Dora Jeler, ITTF High Performance and Development Operations Manager
Two years still remain for the younger generation scholarship holders; their big event being the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games; for the more senior the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is the goal.
Notably, Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw has qualified for the men’s singles event. Likewise Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Tunisia’s Fadwa Garci will be on women’s singles duty.
“The support I received from ITTF and Olympic Solidarity through the With The Future In Mind programme assisted me during the past year in ensuring my qualification for Tokyo 2020. I would not have achieved this without it!” Ibrahima Diaw
A number of his peers have played a vital role in ensuring their teams’ qualification for Tokyo and are in prime position to play at the event. They include Lily Zhang and Kanak Jha of the United States, Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, Serbia’s Dimitrije Levajac and Germany’s Nina Mittelham.
It is important to note that the scholarships may be used to assist with costs for certain tournaments but they are mainly intended as support in providing additional training opportunities that are not part of the regular national training schedule.
Thus it enables scholarship holders to attend ITTF High Performance Training Camps, staged at regular intervals throughout the year; such camps are aimed at all age groups from Hopes category to Olympic prospects.
Notably, Prithika Pavade from France, freshly crowned European under 21 women’s singles Champion, has used her scholarship for a mixture of tournaments and ITTF training camps; Ludovic Remy, the national coach for the French under 21 team, being delighted with the opportunities that have been afforded.
“The ITTF training camps are very good for us. The level of the participants is good, the exercises are good and appropriate for this level of players. It’s a really good programme. A result of the training camp in February was the European under 21 title for Prithika.” Ludovic Remy
In addition to training and competition opportunities, scholarship holders have access to remote in-depth analyses by ITTF partner Stupa. Stupa, an Indian based company, has developed an innovative software for analysing table tennis matches and practice sessions.
The software captures the data from the videos and harnesses the power of data analytics to analyse an athlete’s technical performance, derive trends and patterns from historic data, thus providing a detailed analysis.
Along with their support for our athletes through With The Future in Mind, Olympic Solidarity supports a further 28 athletes in achieving their Olympic dream.