News

Confident In Players

1/20/21

Fiji Table Tennis is confident that they have players that can qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan later this year despite Olympian, Sally Yee pulling out for personal reasons.

Fiji Table Tennis President, Narendra Lal said at the moment they have yet to receive word on qualifying events that they can take part in.

"We will wait for word from our parent body ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) on the qualification process for Tokyo 2020," he said.

"Most likely if our qualifiers are to be held, it will be overseas and will be a costly trip for us."

Narendra said it would most likely be in Australia, and with current COVID-19 restriction protocols, finances would be their biggest challenge.

"Our current plan is ensure that our athletes get as much game time as possible before taking part in any international events," he said.

Fiji Table Tennis held a week long training camp last week to introduce the sport to new athletes and to allow national reps a chance to share their knowledge.

"Most of those that attended the camp were between the age of 4 and 18 and playing the sport for the first time," said Fiji Table Tennis National Development Officer,Harvi Yee.

"It is encouraging, but the challenge is retaining these athletes and ensuring that they stay with the sport."

Harvi said the camp was mostly to teach new athletes the basics of the sport as well as to show parents and guardians the benefits of allowing their children to participate in Table Tennis.

Harvi said the pathway for Table Tennis to representing the country was also very short.

"Athletes in sports like ours get an opportunity to represent the country at very young ages and travel the world," she said.

Meanwhile, Grace Yee is the new Fiji Open Women’s champion after coming out on top in the Open Ladies round robin competition ahead of her closest rival, Carolyn Li,while Fiji Open Men’s Singles Champion, Vicky Wu, successfully defended his title.

Grace, Carolyn and Vicky are all vying for an opportunity to represent Fiji at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.