January 3, 2018

Sally and Grace Yee in action. (Photo: ITTF World)

It has been a huge year for table tennis in Fiji. From competing in international competitions around the globe to hosting the world’s best cadets in their own backyard, Fiji had a full calendar.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun, President of the Fiji Table Tennis Association Anthony Ho, elaborated on the nation’s fruitful year.

“Looking on their major achievements, it was the hosting of the three major regional events in April which included the first ever ITTF Oceana Para Championship and the first world event in October with the hosting of the World Cadet Challenge.” Anthony Ho, President of Fiji Table Tennis Association

But it wasn’t just hosting events where Fiji excelled. They also have a handful of medals and titles to add to their 2017 accolades.

“Other major achievements were the results of our top players including cadets, juniors and our para players. In April, Mere Rodan won the Class 5 women’s wheelchair singles in the Oceania Para Championships, Iakoba Taberanibou won silver in the men’s class 5 event, John Tauni won a bronze in the men’s standing Class 8 event and our other para athletes won numerous silver and bronze medals finishing in second place behind Australia.” Anthony Ho, President of Fiji Table Tennis Association

The junior athletes in particular have found success on the international stage.

“Our national under-15 boys and girl’s champions also qualified for the second running in the Oceania cadet team to the World Cadet Challenge. The junior girl’s team also won a bronze medal during the 2017 China Cadet & Junior Open.” Anthony Ho, President of Fiji Table Tennis Association

This sister act of Sally and Grace Yee have also been making headway in expanding their training environment and experiencing table tennis around the world.

“Our top young players of Grace and Sally Yee both secured international training scholarships, Grace through the ITTF and Sally through the IOC. Both players including one other attended high level training organised by the Japan Olympic Committee and also via ITTF in China.” Anthony Ho, President of Fiji Table Tennis Association

Education has been a top priority, making sure that the sport continues to develop around the nation.

“We’re also successful in bringing in overseas experts to assist the players in training as well as conducting international coaching course. In addition we continued to develop our grass roots table tennis via more school and rural outreach and continued to expand para table tennis to people with disabilities via our weekly visits to special schools and disability organisations and having fun days for various types of disabilities.” Anthony Ho, President of Fiji Table Tennis Association

With 2017 behind them, Fiji is firmly focused on the future.

“We hope to secure a short or full time coach for 2018 while we organise our top players to various overseas training camps and competitions. We hope more corporate sponsors could come forth to assist our top players reach their goals in 2018 and beyond right to the 2020 Olympics/ Paralympics.” Anthony Ho, President of Fiji Table Tennis Association

Source: Fiji Sun