-says departing Chinese coach Chang Jian Hua
Chinese Table Tennis Coach Chang Jian Hua left Guyana yesterday for his homeland, China upon conclusion of his one year stint, excited about the talent of Guyanese racquet wielders and predicting a bright future internationally for three of the country’s players.
Speaking to Stabroek Sports through his interpreter Tain Zhaigieg, Jian Hua whose visit to Guyana was as a result of bilateral relations between the governments of China and Guyana, said that he felt satisfied with the progress made by the players during his stint here.
He said at first, the beginners did not quite adapt to his style of training as they were not allowed to play on the table.
The Chinese method he said was for the players to learn to swing their racquets in the backhand and forehand positions before graduating to the table.
n the Chinese method, the players are also not allowed to play their own style but must follow the strict instructions of the coach in drills such as the popular “multi-ball” drill.
According to Jian Hua, Multi ball drill, which is now a universal style of training, is a method employed by coaches where players are involved in long rallies without stopping to retrieve the ball whenever it is struck off the table or into the net.
Jian Hua said he was most pleased with this aspect of the training at the conclusion of his stint as the beginners were now able to complete up to 70 rallies (hits) at a time.
Jian Hua also singled out Trenace Lowe, Michelle John (who has left Guyana to take up a scholarship in the US) and Nigel Bryan as players to watch stating that he was sure they were going to make a tremendous impact on the international scene.
“The potential that these three possess, Guyana will be recognized on the Table Tennis World Map,” Jian Hua declared.
When it comes to talent though Jian Hua said that if it was up to him to judge then he would say that “they (Guyanese players) are the best in the Caribbean.”
Hua pointed out that a major problem affecting the players was the lack of equipment. Jian Hua’s assessment, which he had made before, was that there were limited tables, racquets and balls.
The lack of balls constantly hampered Jian Hua during his one year stint here as he said there were limited balls when the players needed them most.
He revealed that when he arrived he brought with him some racquets and hundreds of balls but the equipment he brought proved not to be sufficient.
This he said, forced him to decide on a schedule among the players so that each player was able to get enough practice.
Jian Hua said the system had evidently borne fruit as a look at the beginners and juniors can verify.
While a bilateral agreement with respect to Guyanese being offered Chinese scholarships to further their training in table tennis was not on the table, Jian Hua said that on his return to China he will report about the talent of the Guyanese players and after that it will be up to the governments of the two countries.
The Chinese coach said that he enjoyed his stay here and was glad of the support he received from the Chinese Embassy, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA).
He made special mention of general secretary of the GTTA, Godfrey Munroe, whom he commended for his service to the game over the years.
He was also full of praise for the famed Guyanese hospitality and said he was often greeted with respect everywhere he went.
Jian Hua said he would love to return to Guyana and declared that if he was invited by the Guyana Government to offer his services in the future he would be most honoured to return.