Animasahun listed in ITTF Hopes Team

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Abayomi Animashaun

Nigeria’s rising ping pong sensation Abayomi Animasahun has been listed in the ITTF Hopes Team selected for this year’s World Cadet Challenge in Egypt.

The selection is coming on the heels of the lads performance at the just concluded ITTF Hopes Week and Challenge in China. The selected team made up of four boys and four girls will be catered for by the world table tennis ruling body.

Animasahun whose second place finish at the Hopes Week Challenge in China earned him a place in the four-man boys team, will be joined by American Kumar, Singapore’s Yan Kai Andy Wong and New Zealand’s Nathan Xu. While the girls’ team, includes  winner of the ITTF Hopes Challenge, Egypt’s Sara Elhakem, India’s Diya Parag Chitale, Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian and El Salvador’s Melissa Mendoza.

The 2015 ITTF World Cadet Challenge will be staged in the historic Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheik from Friday October 23 to 31. With the eight-man team supported by Butterfly with the selection meeting one of the main objectives of the ITTF Hopes Programme; that every member continent of ITTF is represented.

The winner of the Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles events at the Challenge Tournament, Nikhil Kumar and Sara Elhakem, gained automatic selection. The remaining three places for boys and three places for girls were based on a combination of coaches’ assessment in Shanghai and results at the Challenge Tournament. Evaluation by the coaches formed 65 per cent of the overall calculation. Items taken into consideration were speed and strength alongside a sense of feeling and ability to spin the ball. In addition, the appraisal addressed attitude, mental strength, and adaptability in a match situation, training and potential.

Apart for those selected there are further names who will be in Sharm El-Sheik as part of the ITTF Hopes concept. All the eight players must be accompanied by a coach recognised and approved by the relevant national association.

The players will attend a 14-day training camp at a venue yet to be determined prior to travelling to Egypt. Now the next step is for national associations to endorse the relevant selections; the deadline date being Friday July 31. And the players are going to be mentored by Dejan Papic, the ITTF Education and Training Co-ordinator who serves as the Mentor of the Hopes Team while Polona Cehovin Susin, the ITTF Education and Training Director, is expected to be the Team Manager.