Incheon Provides Excellent Preparation for Pan Am Juniors

By Matt Hetherington | June 24, 2019, 12:16 p.m. (ET)

Incheon, South Korea, provided an incredible experience for the US junior contingent ahead of the 2019 Pan American Junior Championships which began today. An intensive 12 day training camp was on the cards for the group before they departed for Cancun, Mexico, where they hope to capture success.

Along with National Team Coaches Gao Jun and Qi Wei, the 8 players from the USA joined with players from Canada and top Korean juniors from their national team to prepare.

Amy Wang, Crystal Wang, Rachel Sung and Rachel Yang were present for the girls team, while Victor Liu, Nikhil Kumar, Michael Tran and Ted Li rounded off the boys team. 

US National Coach Development Team member Qi Wei commented on the fantastic facility, along with the additional bonus of having 2 physical training coaches on-site to make sure that the preparation was well-rounded and of the greatest benefit. 

The players engaged in training drills, physical training and grueling round robin matches, which began as early as the day after they arrived. The quality and intensity of training was high and the training partners from the Korean Junior National team were an exceptional asset through the days of practice.

US National Team Coach Gao Jun echoed the sentiments and showed a lot of gratitude towards the Korean contingent for their hospitality and guidance.

" The head coach Park is also doing everything he can to help us, but also gives our players a lot of technical guidance and encourages our players not to lose the courage to continue their efforts after losing.  I think this training opportunity is a very good experience for all players.  I hope that such training opportunities can continue again in the future."

Alongside the 8 US players were 5 players from Canada along with their coach Maxime Suprenant. The Canadians also prepare for Pan Am Juniors, so it was a great opportunity for USA to work alongside them as they fight for common goals. 

"It was a great camp and preparation for Pan am junior. We were lucky as the Koreans were also preparing for a tournament so the plan they made really made sense for us," says Suprenant, who accompanied the 5 Canadian players to Incheon, "They had 6 junior boys all with different styles and same on the girls side. We also got to play with the 6 players from the men's army team. There were 2 fitness trainers, one for the boys and one for the girls. Every session had some physical training and it was really complete with stretchings as well."

Overall it appears the experience was one of great value for both USA and Canada and something which the players and coaches hope can be repeated in the future.

For now, the US team are in Cancun and are ready to begin the Pan American Junior Championships. 

Last year the team succeeded in bringing home gold in every event, all but one silver in the junior girls singles event. What can they bring to the table this year? 

We wish them the best of luck!