Olympic Association pumps US$8,000 towards Wong’s Pan Am prep
By Akeem Greene
The Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) has invested approximately US$8,000 to send national Table Tennis player, Miguel Wong, to a high-performance training camp in Germany until the Senior Pan American Championship (November 13 to 19 in Peru) and the inaugural Junior Pan American Games (November 25 to December 5 in Colombia).
He departs on Saturday evening and will be based at the Topspin Tischtennis Centre.
According to GOA President, K.A. Juman-Yassin, the Olympic body has covered all the expenses for the training camp based on a proposal submitted by the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA).
The GOA President applauded corporate Guyana for supporting athletes, but hopes that athletes are “accountable to the sponsors” and there is no “duplicity in funding.”
Wong has gotten tangible support from various companies in Guyana and GTTA President Godfrey Munroe explained that such funds assist in covering miscellaneous expenses by the athlete while he is encamped.
Munroe noted that such expenses would be difficult to cover by the GOA, given the International Olympic Association (IOC) guidelines.
Yassin indicated he has seen the determination in Wong and hopes he makes the most of the training stint to improve his game since “as time goes on his competency and confidence will improve.”
Meanwhile, Munroe noted that after Wong competes at the Senior Pan Am Games, he will remain in Peru since he can only enter the Games’ Village in Colombia until November 27 as Table Tennis starts November 30.
He further thanked the Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, for helping to expedite Wong’s visa for Germany as that was the delay in him leaving Guyana. Munroe added that the training in Germany is more intense and less costly than the other option in the United States of America.
Additionally, the 21-year-old who spent a year in Germany at a high-performance camp between 2019 and 2020, said he knows what it will take to be successful based on the previous experience.
He highlighted that numerous athletes who will be at the camp will be heading to both competitions in South America.
Wong, who along with 14-year-old Jonathan Van Lange will be the two Table Tennis players representing Guyana at Junior Pan Am, has set himself a realistic goal of at least reaching the quarter-finals, given the high quality of players he anticipates will compete.
Wong’s qualification came as a result of his World Ranking; he is currently ranked 713 with 168 rating points.
The Junior Pan Am Games is a forthcoming international multi-sport event for athletes aged in the Americas and the objective is to promote new generations of athletes, as well as make new talents visible and support the development of sport in the junior categories through their participation in high-profile events.