The 2012 World Cadet Challenge took place in Mangilao, Guam, October 27- November 4.
The North American team was composed of Isabel Chu (USA), Diane Jiang (USA), Katherine Dauplaise (CAN) and Christina Pui (CAN) for the girls’ team and Jonathan Ou (USA), Allen Wang (USA), Alexander Moran (CAN) and Filip Ilijevski (CAN) for the cadet boy’s. Emilia Gheorghe (cadet girl’s coach), Y J Liu (cadet boy’s coach) and Maxime Surprenant (Team Manager).
The team had a 3 days training camp at the Topspin club prior to departing for Guam. The players participated in a local tournament on October 21st, followed by 2 training sessions/day for Oct.22 -24. Many thanks to the club owner, Mr. Tung Huynh and coach Stefan Feth for helping the team prepare for the tournament.
We left San Francisco on October 25th, arriving in Guam on October 26th in the evening. The ITTF training camp commenced on October 27th in the morning and the players were fortunate to have Mr. Richard Prause (GER) as the expert coach leading the 3 days training camp. After the first day of practice, the teams were invited to the Government House for a welcome reception.
The tournament started on October 30th with the team event. The NA girl’s team seeded 5th, were drawn in the group with Europe, World Hopes, and Guam teams. The team finished 3rd in the group losing 4-1 to Europe, 3-2 to World Hopes team and winning 5-0 against Guam team. The girls played for positions 5-8, finishing 5th with wins over Africa (3-2) and Oceania (3-0). The NA boy’s team seeded 5th, were drawn in the group with Latin America, Europe, and Guam. The boy’s team lost against Latin America 5-0, Europe 5-0, and won against Guam 5-0. The team played for position 5-8 against Oceania wining 3-1, and losing against Africa 3-2 finishing 6th.
On November 1st the teams participated in a Cultural activities day and practiced in the afternoon before the start of the singles and doubles event on November 2nd. In the singles event Diane Jiang finished 10th (she also received the girl’s fair-play award), Isabel Chu finished 18th, Allen Wang finished 13th, and Jonathan Ou 16th.
Diane Jiang receiving the girl’s Fair-play award.
Full results can be found clicking on the following link. http://www.ittf.com/competitions/competitions2.asp?Category=WJCF&Competition_ID=2174&Formstories_Page=4#stories
Overall, the US players performance was good, with wins over players ranked higher in the WR and the possibility to finish higher if not for lack of experience (see Allen’ s 4-3 loss against Chernov, after having few opportunities to close the match and advance to quarterfinals) and an unfortunate injury in the singles group stage (Isabel injured her ankle at 1-1 against Diaconu, unable to perform her best for the remaining of the match and having to default the doubles match later in the evening per doctor’s advice).
The organizing committee and ITTF have done a fantastic job as usual with Raul Calin at the helm of the entire event. The tournament was a great experience for our players and they have left Guam with wonderful memories, on and off court. I am confident that this tournament will be a great motivation to further improve their table tennis skills and to continue working hard to achieve their goals.
Back row: Christina Pui, coach YJ Liu, Diane Jiang, Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, Governor’s daughters, First Lady Christine Calvo, Isabel Chu, coach Emilia Gheorghe, Katherine Dauplaise
Front row: Jonathan Ou, Alexander Moran, Filip Ilijevski, Allen Wang, Team Manager Maxime Surprenant.