ITTF World Cadet Challenge: Fifth Time or First Time, Response the Same from Highly Motivated Teenagers
Courtesy of ITTF
October 25, 2015 – Playing in her fifth consecutive ITTF Cadet Challenge, she made her debut on home soil at the 2011 edition staged in San Juan in January 2012; ever since that date she has been present. In terms of appearances no player can match Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz.
Later in 2012 she was on duty in Guam, the following year in Slovenia and most recently in 2014 in Barbados. Conversely for Lithuania’s Medardas Stankevicius, some eight months older, it will be his debut.
However, both have one factor in common; they are thoroughly enjoying and benefitting from the Training Camp and the efforts of Peter Karlsson; at the end of play on Saturday 24th October both were in a positive frame of mind.
“The training camp is very useful we have learned may things such as improving the speed of our play and our technical skills”, said Adriana Diaz. “Peter Karlsson is a very good coach; he has great experience, a lot of enthusiasm and motivation.”
A motivated teacher equals a motivated student; it is undoubtedly the situation where Peter Karlsson is concerned.
Play Against Different Players
“It has helped me here to practice against players from different countries; it opens your eyes to the world of table tennis”, added Adriana Diaz. “I need to improve my serves and my leg speed; my strength is my forehand top spin so I will use that during my matches as much as possible.”
Currently at no.5 on the Under 15 Girls’ World Rankings, the Puerto Rican is the highest rated young lady on duty in Sharm El-Sheikh but she is well aware there is intense competition ahead.
“I will try to do my best during this tournament, I know it is very difficult one but I will do my best by working hard”, concluded Adrian Diaz. “Asia and Europe are very good teams and they will be our biggest opponents.”
Sister in Waiting
Strong opposition and for Adriana Diaz it is her swansong, she celebrates her 15th birthday on Saturday 31st October; as usual the celebration is at the ITTF Cadet Challenge.
Is it a last appearance for the Diaz family? Maybe not, she has a younger sister, Fabiola who is 12 years old. Earlier this year, she played on the ITTF Junior Circuit in Puerto Rico and El Salvador.
A positive response to the Training Camp from Adriana Diaz, it was the same from Medardas Stankevicius.
“I have learned a lot during this camp, I learned many things about movement, new techniques, I learned also to play strong backhands, to play from the middle; also to improve my serve and receive”, said Medardas Stankevicius. “We have been here for only two days but we have learned many new things in a little time.”
New ideas in what for Medardas Stankevicius is a new situation.
“For me it is really a good experience to play against different players, especially the Asian players; they are so much faster than us so it is really an advantage to train with them”, he added. “In my country the training is not so good so it really means so much to come here and have this good training camp.”
Most certainly, Medardas Stankevicius is grateful for the opportunity.
“I hope that I can reach my goal here, I can’t say I will win as there are so many good players but I believe in myself and I think I can do it and win”, added Medardas Stankevicius. “The main advice I have received is to improve my movement, my technique is good. I only need to focus more on movement.”
Similar to Adriana Diaz, Medardas Stankevicius is motivated and he is well aware of the continent that will provide to most severe opposition.
“I think our biggest opponent will be Asia, they are very fast players with a very good techniques”, concluded Medardas Stankevicius. “The training is really good, also I enjoy the city, I love the sea and water and everything.“
The Training Camp concludes on Sunday October 25th; competition starts on Monday October 26th.