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All smiles from Diya Parag Chitale, named in the Girls’ Team selection Photo By: Polona Cehovin Susin

Destination Sharm El-Sheik, Hopes Team Announced for World Cadet Challenge

Seven days in Shanghai concluded on Sunday July 5th, the nominations for the Hopes Team to compete in the ITTF World Cadet Challenge, to be staged in the historic Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheik from Friday October 23rd to Saturday October 31st, are announced.

Nikhil Kumar of the United States alongside Nigeria’s Abayomi Animasahun, Singapore’s Yan Kai Andy Wong and New Zealand’s Nathan Xu are named in the Boys’ team.

Meanwhile, the girls’ selection comprises Egypt’s Sara Elhakem, India’s Diya Parag Chitale, Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian and El Salvador’s Melissa Mendoza.

Meets Objectives
Both outfits are supported by Butterfly with the selection meeting one of the main objectives of the ITTF Hopes Program; that every member continent of the International Table Tennis Federation is represented.

Selection Process
The winner of the Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles events at the Challenge Tournament, Nikhil Kumar and Sara Elhakem, gained automatic selection.

The remaining three places for boys and three places for girls were based on a combination of coaches’ assessment in Shanghai and results at the Challenge Tournament.

Evaluation
Evaluation by the coaches formed 65 per cent of the overall calculation. Items taken into consideration were speed and strength alongside a sense of feeling and ability to spin the ball. In addition, the appraisal addressed attitude, mental strength, adaptability in a match situation, training and potential.

Meanwhile, at the Challenge Tournament, the players were allocated points, which were translated into a percentage, the winner of each of the Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles events receiving the maximum 35 per cent of the total mark.

Further Names
Selection complete but most pertinently there are further names who will be in Sharm El-Sheik as part of the ITTF Hopes concept.

All players must be accompanied by a coach recognized and approved by the relevant national association.

Not only is this a policy necessary where young children are involved; it is also adds an increased legacy with coaches able to benefit from the knowledge of ITTF appointed experts. Notably the Head Coach at the three day Training Camp in Sharm El-Sheik will be Sweden’s Peter Karlsson.

Full Itinerary
A full and detailed itinerary is scheduled.

It is proposed that the players will attend a 14 day training camp at a venue yet to be determined prior to traveling to Sharm El-Sheik.

A week full of intense activity at the ITTF Hopes Week in Shanghai

Next Step
Now the next step is for national associations to endorse the relevant selections; the deadline date being Friday July 31st.

Replacement Policy
No doubt the formality of the rubber stamp will be applied quickly but should any nominated player be selected for their Continental Team; that selection will take priority and a replacement will be named for the Hopes Team.

Should such an event occur, the next highest named player on the Final Overall Standing, irrespective of nation or continent will be selected.

Team Leaders
Dejan Papic, the ITTF Education and Training Coordinator is the Mentor of the Hopes Team, Polona Cehovin Susin, the ITTF Education and Training Director, is the Team Manager.

2015 iTTF Hopes WeekPlayers and coaches at the recently concluded ITTF Hopes Week in Shanghai
Photo by Polona Cehovin Susin

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