ASIA HOPES WEEK & CHALLENGE
Monday 13th May
Staged in Thailand´s capital city, Bangkok at the Singapore International School and organisedunder the auspices of ITTF High Performance and Development, the Asia Hopes Week and Challenge was organised from Monday 6th to Monday 13th May.
The head coach on duty Slovenia’s Joze Urhassisted by Malaysia’s Beh Lee Fong.
Overall, in addition to four practice partners from the local association, a total of 10 boys and 10 girls, born in 2007 and 2008 attended; the premises proving ideal for a high level training camp.
Notably 14 national associations were represented. In addition to Thailand players and coaches from India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Syria attended.
A detailed plan was put in place in order to realisethe goals set; notably during the second session play each day the focus was directed towards the coaches working on individual practices with their players. The end result both Beh Lee Fong and Jose Urh were pleased with the outcome.
The targets set during the training sessions reached; the aim for the players in the tournament was to secure one of the three places available for boys and three for girls allocated to Asia for the World Hopes Week and Challenge in July in Oman.
In each of the boys’ singles and girls’ singles events the first stage of the Challenge tournament comprised two groups, each with five players; the players finishing in first and second positions in each group advancing to compete for the top four positions.
A high level of play witnessed, Kazakhstan’s Alan Kurmangaliyev emerged the boys’ singles winner beating India’s Oishik Ghosh in a full distance five games final; third position and thus qualification for the World Hopes Week and Challenge was secured by the host nation’s PheempopePheempope, he finished ahead of Singapore’s Nicholas Tan.
Meanwhile, India won the girls’ singles event, Sayani Panda beating Fathimath Dheema from the Maldives in the final. Next in line was Malaysia’s Gan Ai Lis, she overcame Iran’s Tara Souri to gain third position.
Matters concluded with a well-organized award ceremony; present for the occasion was Kevin Koh, the SSIB Chief Executive Officer alongside PiradejPruttipruk, President of the Table Tennis Association of Thailand and Afshin Badie, the Development Manager for the Asian Table Tennis Union.