SPORTS

Table Tennis Targets 5 Medals In Samoa

"The 14-member team, including three officials and five para-athletes, was an­nounced last Wednesday and is a mix of young and seasoned players, led by 72-year-old New Zealand-based Wang Qi."
05 May 2019 02:52
Table Tennis Targets 5 Medals In Samoa
Team Fiji Table Tennis president Anthony Ho during the High Performance workshop at the Holiday Inn Suva, on February 11, 2018. Photo: Peni Komaisavai

Team Fiji table tennis is targeting five medals at the Samoa Pacific Games this July and manager Narendra Lal is optimistic of a good out­ing.

The 14-member team, including three officials and five para-athletes, was an­nounced last Wednesday and is a mix of young and seasoned players, led by 72-year-old New Zealand-based Wang Qi.

Senior player Caroline Li was left out of the squad after missing the final tri­als for work commitments but has filed an appeal which Lal says will likely be successful.

Other players to watch in the team include Japan-based Sally Yee and her sister Grace, and Fiji Open Champion Vicky Wu in the men’s division.

The Para-athletes have also formed a formidable squad, with leading Pacific players like Laniana Serukalou, Mere­walesi Roden and Iakoba Taubakoa all considered medal prospects.

The team’s coach, Australian-based former South Korean athlete Chanung Jung, will arrive in Fiji on Tuesday (May 7) to work with the players.

He will assess areas like technique and positioning of the players and look to fine-tune other technical aspects of their game, Lal said.

Former Fiji Table Tennis Association president, Anthony Ho, has been work­ing with the players in the absence of the coach.

Lal, who is the current association pres­ident, says the coach’s arrival will be a timely boost for the players as prepara­tions begin to intensify.

“Firstly, I want to congratulate all the players that made it to the team,” he said.

“But the hard work does not stop. We train five days a week in Suva and our players will get to know where they stand when the coach arrives this week.”

Team Fiji’s biggest challenge in Samoa could come from arch-rivals New Cal­edonia, Tahiti and Vanuatu.

The Games will be on July 7-20.

TEAM LIST

Men (able): Wang Qi, Philip Wing, Vicky Wu

Women (able): Sally Yee, Touea Titiana, Grace Yee

Non-travelling reserves: Jai Chauhan

Para (men): Iakoba Taubakoa (wheel­chair), John Tauni (standing)

Para (women): Merewalesi Roden (wheelchair), Akanisi Latu (wheelchair), Laniana Serukalou (standing)

Non-travelling reserves: Eparama Tiko­maibolatagane (wheelchair men), Jone Vukinamualevu (standing men), Akesa Vilisoni (female standing)

Officials: Narendra Lal (section manag­er), Henry Yee (section manager para), Harvi Yee (coach para).

-Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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