Nov 24, 2021 Sports
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News – Table Tennis duo Jonathan Van Lange and Miguel Wong prepare to leave on Saturday as part of 22 athletes selected to represent Guyana at the inaugural U-23 Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia from November 25 to December 5, National Coach Idi Lewis is very confident of success.
The multitalented Van Lange, who also plays cricket for GCC and Wong, will go into action on November 30.Wong is scheduled to head to Colombia from his training camp in Peru with the Peru National team, while Van Lange will depart from the USA’s top training Center; the Samson Dubina Academy in Ohio.
Lewis said that the Covid-19 pandemic has not really affected the Boys preparation.
“It hasn’t really affected the guys, of course everything stopped for a while but at that time Miguel was already in Germany at the Topspin Training Center that host top players from around the world… mainly Europe and Latin America players and because of the pandemic he had to stay for a year.
He was able to continue training so it actually helped him a bit. Jonathan was also very active throughout both on the table and a lot of physical training.
They were training all along but specifically for the games right after we were informed that they were selected,” informed Lewis, the Coach of Olympian Chelsea Edghill.
“Systems were put in place. Preparation was very strategic and intense, twice per day and Miguel then went back to Germany for final prep, while Jonathan went to Samson Dubbin academy in the US.
Special thanks to GTTA President Godfrey Munroe who was instrumental in making sure our boys got the best preparation possible, also special thanks to the GOA and the senior men’s team that came out to practice with the guys and lastly Mr Kumar from Beacon café,” added the Malteenoes Sports Club member.
Lewis is satisfied with the time the pair had to prepare.
“Most definitely, we were definitely able to put in enough work. This is one of the best prepared teams in a long time. I’m very happy and I hope this is how it will be moving forward,” Lewis continued.
According to the former Caribbean Boys Junior Champion, the extension in the age limit from U-19 to U-23 is not a problem.
“For table tennis age isn’t that big of a factor, I’m more concern with skill set of ours compared to theirs.
The great thing about Guyana, we don’t have a shortage of talent we have that in abundance. What’s needed is a whole pyramid structure of development talent identification programme, financial support for athletes, coaches and administrators, training facilities, coaching development, use of technology and scientific research.
I honestly think we’re finally heading there. There’s a deeper understanding of that concept, however, financial resources are required to implement many of the pillars needed,” Coach Lewis noted.
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