10 Dec 2022

Aspiring talents setting new standards for non-traditional table tennis countries

It was one for the history books on 9 December at the 2022 ITTF World Youth Championships, as Egypt’s Hana Goda and Kazakhstan’s Alan Kurmangaliyev paired up to win the U15 Mixed Doubles title. The duo combined to defeat Spain’s Maria Berzosa Casa and Portugal’s Tiago Abiodun 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-5).

It was the first World Championships title for Kazakhstan and the second ever for Egypt.

This has been the theme of the event with players from a wider range of countries enjoying success on the international stage, highlighting the results of ITTF’s programmes in high performance and development.

Goda and Kurmangaliyev were both Hopes members a few years ago. The Hopes is the flagship talent identification programme of the ITTF, uniting players and coaches from across the globe. It continues to be the building block of the high-performance pathway, which targets a global growth of elite table tennis.

Moreover, the two players are also holders of the scholarship “With the Future in Mind”, a joint programme of Olympic Solidarity and the ITTF. Since its inception it has been a core component of the athletes’ development model, supporting athletes the world over in the pursuit of their Olympic dream.

Success for Alan Kurmangaliyev and Hana Goda, also note the pair they beat in the final, the Iberian Peninsula combination of Portugal’s Tiago Abiodun and Spain’s Maria Berzosa. Over the years both nations have produced players of high calibre but the new generation is dreaming bigger.

Also making an impact at the 2022 ITTF World Youth Championships is Team Australia. The combination of Bae Wan and Nie Chulong secured under 15 boys’ doubles bronze, having earlier, with Aditya Sareen completing the line-up, concluded matters under 15 boys’ team silver medallists.

Several players who have been supported through different ITTF programmes over the years are now performing extremely well in major events. Their success is the fruit of the ITTF’s vision to globalise competitiveness, offering to players mostly coming from non-traditional markets, crucial support for their enhanced development. Being on podiums of events of the highest level will serve as role models for the many young ones, who are coming up behind them.

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