SPORTS

Table Tennis On The Move

Fiji Table Tennis Association president, Anthony Ho, is impressed with what they have achieved this year. The highlight was when two of their players participated at the Olympic Games. They
20 Dec 2016 11:00
Table Tennis On The Move
Sally Yee, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Team Fiji chef de mission Cathy Wong at the Rio Olympics in August. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva

Fiji Table Tennis Association president, Anthony Ho, is impressed with what they have achieved this year.

The highlight was when two of their players participated at the Olympic Games.

They are 15-year-old, Sally Yee who qualified on merit for the Rio Olympic Games and Mere Rodan for the Rio Paralympics.

“It was truly an unforgettable experience,” Ho told SUNsports.

“Grace Yee was selected as one of ten young under-15 girls who were part of the ITTF Rough Diamond Project for high level training in Luxembourg. The training was also attended by the national coach of China. Also Grace and Vicky Wu attended the World Cadet Challenge.”

Ho said the 2016 Fiji Open and Para event was very successful. The junior girls team also attended the World Junior Championship and the National Para team, which included new young para players currently training and competing in New Zealand.

“The 2016 Fiji Open and Para Open became a premier event in the Oceania region with more than 10 countries participating including wheelchair and standing disabilities events.

“People with disabilities from New Zealand, Australia and other Pacific Island countries were treated to one of the largest para events in the region’s history.

“Kope Taberanibou surprised everyone when defeating a wheelchair player from New Zealand who had qualified for the Rio Paralympics and won the Mixed Wheelchair and Men’s Wheelchair singles events.”

Ho confirmed that Fiji was awarded the rights to host the 2017 Oceania Para Table Tennis championship and the World Cadet Challenge.

“To host two premier events in the international table tennis calendar,   demonstrates the confidence by ITTF on Fiji’s ability to host international table tennis events at the highest level.”

 

2017 setback

One of the major constraints that they will face is the absence of a permanent venue from January 2017. This will be the last month Fiji Table Tennis will use the National Table Tennis Centre as it is taken back by Fiji Sports Council for a large re-development of the area.

“Fiji Table Tennis is also awaiting news of its request for a new venue and other assistance including coaches, training stints in China under the Fiji- China Sports Cooperation programme which we had made a submission in November 2015.

“The lack of a venue will stifle development, social table tennis, para table tennis as well as our players preparing for various major events including the 2017 Mini Pacific Games,” Ho said.

For 2017, Ho said they look forward to another busy year especially in the domestic front with the local development and the hosting of two major internationals as well as the ITTF Oceania Cup.

“A qualification to the World Cup and the ITTF Oceania Junior Championship which is also part of the qualification for the Oceania Cadet Team to the World Cadet Challenge and the junior teams vying to qualify for the 2017 World Junior Championship.

“Fiji Table Tennis intends to attract more younger players as well as more people with disabilities to take up the sport through its outreach programmes. It intends to take the sport to Vanua level, the Maritime Zone and resurrect the huge potential in the West,” he added. Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  paulini.ratulailai@fijisun.com.fj

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