By Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Staged in Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok at the Singapore International School, Iran’s Navid Shams and Singapore’s Zhou Jingyi won the respective Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles titles at the recent 2017 Asia Hopes Follow Up Camp and Challenge held from Sunday 30th April to Tuesday 9th May.
A total of 21 players and 13 coaches from ten national associations attended; in addition to Iran, Singapore and the host nation, players and coaches travelled from India, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Qatar, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
they were invited following success at the Regional Hopes Weeks organized in South East, South, West and Middle Asia.
Medallists with Eva Jeler and Afshin Badiee (Photo: courtesy of Afshin Badiee)
Next in line to Navid Shams came colleague Mohammad Amin Samadi, followed by India’s Suresh Raj Prejesh and Singapore’s Quek Yong Izaac.
Meanwhile, in the Girls’ Singles event, second place went to the host nation’s Wirakam Tayapitak, with India’s Baskar Kavya Sree in third spot and Ser Lin Qian, also from Singapore, fourth.
Navid Shams, the Boys’ Singles winner, proudly holds his trophy aloft (Photo: courtesy of Afshin Badiee)
Head coach for the initiative was Germany’s Eva Jeler, she was assisted by the host nation’s Parinya Nonsagate; both were delighted with the level of hospitality and the very high standard of facilities that were provided.
Additional to the playing hall, the complex included a guest house, restaurant, games room and swimming pool; additionally on Monday 8th May, a sight seeing tour was organised. Understandably, Afshin Badiee, the Development Officer for the Asian Table Tennis Union, held a meeting with the owner and the president of school for future co-operation.
A wonderful event, very well organised by the Table Tennis Association of Thailand and the staff of Singapore International School; the players practised with great joy and dedication. My impression is that they learned and progressed a lot during the course. In the challenge they performed well and surprised us with some high level performances. The coaches shared their ideas, helped each other in the training sessions. All worked at a high professional level. All in all, these were very successful Hopes days.Eva Jeler
Navid Shams and Zhou Jingyi now qualify for the ITTF Hopes Week and Challenge to be held from Friday 11th to Thursday 17th August at China Table Tennis College – Europe in Luxembourg.
A smile of satisfaction on the face of Zhou Yingji, the Girls’ Singles winner (Photo: courtesy of the Singapore Table Tennis Association)
Overall, 16 boys and 16 girls representing each continent will be invited.
Asia receives three places for boys and three for girls as does Europe. Meanwhile, for each of Africa and Latin America it is two boys and two girls; whilst for North America and Oceania it is one boy and one girl. A place for one boy and one girl is reserved for the host association; thus places for three further boys and three further girls are available.
Places for three boys and three girls are being offered as “Wild Card”; a national association may apply for a maximum of one boy and one girl to attend; the closing date is Thursday 15th June.
Participants, coaches and officials at the Asia Hopes Week (Photo: courtesy of Afshin Badiee)