Train up international players, association urged

CLEAN SWEEP: The victorious Kuching men and women’s open teams with Yong (fourth left), Kuching contingent chef-de-mission Tony Ngo (fourth right) and organising chairperson Helena Wee (left) during the prize presentation. • Photo by Davidson Kho

KUCHING: The Table Tennis Association of Sarawak (TTAS) should tailor their training programme for the international arena, according to Deputy Works Minister Datuk Yong Khoon Seng.

They should not be satisfied with producing only national players but also aim to train up talents capable of holding their own at the SEA Games, the Asian Games and even the World Championship, he said at the closing of the 49th Sarawak Milo Open Table Tennis Championship on Wednesday night.

Kuching emerged overall champions of the five-day meet with 11 titles, followed by Sibu with five, Miri with four and Samarahan with one.

Yong also expressed the hope that the state players could be sent to world table tennis powerhouse China for training and competition to gain experience and further improve their skills.

“We all know the Chinese players are dominant in Asian, World and Olympics competitions. As such, our players have a lot to gain from training and competing with them.” He urged the state players to make beating the Chinese players their ultimate goal to stamp their mark in the international arena.

He was pleased to note that TTAS affiliates had been ‘very active’ in spotting and grooming talents to ensure continuity in producing players to represent the state and country.

Meanwhile, 10 paddlers, including five women, have been selected to represent Sarawak at the 46th Malaysia Open Table Tennis Championship in Johor from Dec 28 to 31.

The men’s team comprise Chai Kian Peng, Chai Kian Beng, Matteus Aloysius and Kho Mao Sheng of Kuching and Wong Jen Wei of Samarahan while the women players are Kueh Wan May and Wendy Lau of Kuching, Wong Xiao Jing of Sarikei and Ngu Ing Hung and Tang Wen Jiun of Sibu.

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