Tuesday October 30, 2012
TTAM won’t import players just to win medals
By ASHREENA PILLAI
KUALA LUMPUR: The Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) will not import players just to boost their chances of doing well in international tournaments.
In a sport where it is common to import players, especially from China, TTAM are determined to go against the grain and place their faith in local born talents.
TTAM honorary secretary Chan Foong Keong said that although Malaysians are not a powerhouse in table tennis, the country should be proud to be able to hold its own without resorting to importing players.
He said it was important to keep things on an even keel and set realistic goals.
“We have a great group of players in the squad, but our target must be realistic. We know our strengths and we have to play to it,” said Foong Keong.
“Some of our players are also students, so it’s not easy to achieve that high-level performance as they have to find a balance between studies and training,” he said.
Next on the calendar for the national team is the 26th Golden Racket International Table Tennis Tournament in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from Oct 31-Nov 4.
Beh Lee Wei, 29, who will take on her new caretaker coach-cum-player role at the tournament, will be hoping to inspire Mohd Shakirin Ibrahim, Muhamad Ashraf Haiqal Muhammad Rizal, Foo Dunley, Foh Zheng Liu as well as women paddlers Chiu Soo Jiin, Zhu Yijie to put up a strong challenge.
The women’s team, however, will be without Lee Rou You and Ho Ying as both are sitting for their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations this year while Ng Sock Khim is still recovering from injury.