November 23, 2018

Tonga athletes ready for two months of training in China. (Photo: TTTF)

by Tonga Table Tennis Federation

In preparation for the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Governments of China and the Government of Tonga are working in partnership to support athletes from 9 Sports Federations towards best training opportunities and enhanced performance.

Today, Friday 23 November the table tennis contingent left for a two month training as part of this program. The team consist of 10 players and 2 coaching officials; Manumanu Pepa and Salote Fungavai.  Four of the players are young development athletes and 6 senior players.  “This in a massive opportunity for our athletes as nothing like this has ever taken place before so we are grateful for the opportunity offered by China to take our players over for two months.” said Mr. Hasiloni Fungavai, Tonga Table Tennis Federation President.

The ‘Technical Assistance Program’ offered from the Government of China offers Tonga Table Tennis plus 8 other sports to send athletes to China in 3 phases.  The first phase is from the end of November 2018 – end of January 2019 (2 months).  The second phase from November 2019 – January 2020 and the final phase in June 2020. In turn, China will also dispatch Chinese coaching officials to travel to Tonga to train with the athletes once they return from China at the end of each phase.  China also will provide training equipment to improve the training conditions of the 9 sports.

Table tennis is based at the Yunnan BeiJiaoChang Sports Training Base in the province of Kunming together with Boxing and Archery.  Altogether there are 29 athletes in this training base whilst weightlifting, tennis, volleyball, swimming, athletics and badminton are based in other provinces.