Table tennis players off to high-level camp in China

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After their excellent showing at the Senior Caribbean Table Tennis Championship in Jamaica in September, four of Guyana’s national table tennis team members Natalie Cummings, Joel Alleyne, Nigel Bryan and Elishaba Johnson will depart Guyana on Friday (November 23) to participate in a one-month high-level training camp at the Hebei Zhengding Table Tennis Training Centre in China.

“This critical high-level table tennis training programme being offered to eight of Guyana’s national table tennis team is facilitated through the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China Embassy Guyana through current technical and diplomatic engagements with the Guyana Table Tennis Association and Government of Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at supporting and improving the performance and development of Guyana’s Table Tennis. This engagement signals the commencement and forms part of the many initiatives to be unfolded between China and Guyana aimed at improving Guyana’s table tennis prospects,” the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) said in a statement on Thursday.

The GTTA has selected Miguel Wong, Nicholas Romain, Kyle Edghill and Jamal Nicholas as the other members to benefit from this engagement. However, the group leaving Friday will be the first set undertaking the training programme.

The GTTA added, “The members attending the programme have made tremendous sacrifices for this engagement; they were under intense practice over the last few months in preparation for this training programme in order to be ready to maximally benefits from this training engagement.”

The GTTA said it has recognised and identified that there is a critical need to reorient the culture and process of training in the psyche of national team representatives at all levels and for them to commence training and playing in high yield competitive environments, similar to international peers in order for them to bridge the gap and excel in regional and international competitions in the future.

The Hebei Zhengding International Table Tennis Club has a repertoire of high level and quality players and coaches. It is the centre for China’s national table tennis team and many international players and has a tradition of producing world level players at the junior and senior levels.

“The programmes offered are very intense; players train and practice hours eight hours a day, benefitting from a wide range of coaching expertise, a variety of top-level players and practice partners, competitive matches playing in leagues which allows players to develop their technical and tactical proficiency transitioning them to reach and exploit their fullest potential. This is the current formula being utilised by all the top-level players and nations internationally as their basis for success and has been proving successful for players and teams adopting this approach,” the GTTA added.

The GTTA continued, “With Guyana scheduled to host the 2019 Caribbean Table Tennis championships and based on the International Table Tennis Federation assigning this competition as the Pan American Games qualification event to be used to select four teams from the Caribbean region to participate in the 2019 Pan American Games, which by extension is one of the key qualification events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, has given greater importance to the hosting of the Caribbean championships and our push to have our players benefit and prepared for these types of arrangements.”

The GTTA would like to extend appreciation to Charge De Affaires Mr. Chen Xillai, Ambassador His Excellency Cui Jian Chun, Chinese Ambassador to Guyana and Mrs. Wang Qiuyi, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Guyana Olympic Association, Guyana Power Producers and Distributors, Mr. Dwayne Munroe, CEO Dominion Enterprises, Guyana Revenue Authority and all who would have assisted in making this venture a reality.

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