KUALA LUMPUR – In their attempt to have a better outing at the upcoming Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, the national table tennis squad is set to resume their last phase of training and preparation in China.
Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) honorary secretary Chan Foong Keong said the squad comprising five male and five female paddlers, together with two coaches would return to the Great Wall country on June 3.
“The paddlers just returned home after more than a month of intensive training in Beijing (men’s) and Chenjin (women’s) in China. They showed improvement. They will resume training till the end of July or early August.
“We (TTAM) always work together with the Malaysian Olympic Council and Malaysian SEA Games Organising Committee to ensure the table tennis events in the SEA Games are well organised,” said Chan when met at the inaugural T2 Asia Pacific Table Tennis (T2APAC) League community event here today.
Before the China stint, the national paddlers will participate at the Thailand Open in Bangkok and International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) Asian Championship from April 9-16 at Wuxi, China.
Two years ago at the Singapore SEA Games, Malaysia bagged a silver medal through Ng Sock Khim in the women’s singles and three bronze through men’s team, women’s doubles and women’s team events.
Among the paddlers from the last edition to continue their medal hunt are Muhd Shakirin Ibrahim and Leong Chee Feng in men’s category, while Sock Khim and Ho Ying would be feature in women’s category.
Chan said the final list of paddlers representing the country would be confirmed after the meeting with the SEA Games Selection Committee on Friday, which would also discuss plans for the final phase of the ‘Kita Juara’ programme.
Earlier, 25 paddlers, all aged 12, from few local schools had a lifetime opportunity to meet, mingle and spar with some of the world’s best paddlers, including the world No. 39 men’s paddler, Paul Drinkhall of England.
Women’s world No. 5 Cheng I-Ching of Taiwan, Swedish Matilda Ekholm (No. 20) and Hungarian Georgina Pita (No. 31) were also present at the promotional event for the T2APAC League to kick off this June.
“We are still in the discussion stage to include Malaysian paddlers in the league, as well as to become the host, but are waiting for further information from the organisers,” said Chan. – BERNAMA