The past months have put USA on the map in Cadet and Junior events in Europe and with some outstanding performances at the World Cadet Challenge where Amy Wang won North America's first gold medal in the history of the event.
Returning to LYTTC where they regularly practice, Amy Wang and the Alguetti brothers; Sharon, Gal and Adar, were met by a camera crew last Sunday to document some of their successes. Alongside them were Faith Hu and Jayden Zhou (national mini-cadet teams) and training partners Jin Yuxiang, Kaden Xu, Alex Chen and Chen Ziyang.
Amy's game seems to be going from strength to strength with no signs of slowing down, capturing an impressive collection of medals across cadet and junior events in Slovenia and Croatia before taking the big gold in Shanghai at the World Cadets. With the driving force of a passionate father and of course brother Allen Wang to practice at home, Wang also travels to Lily Yip Table Tennis Center for practice.
“One of the things we are trying to improve is Amy's ability to generate her own power,” states Coach Lily, who recognizes Amy's unique ability to counter and use the speed of other players, but an area of improvement necessary. The opinion is mirrored by Amy's father who hopes she can become a stronger player and improve her physical conditioning to help build some more power into her strokes.
“Training with a chopper has definitely helped” says Wang, who finds herself grinding away against training partner Yuxiang 'James' Jin at the club on frequent occasions. The provincial level player from China sits around 2550 rating level and has been an important practice partner for Amy, the three Alguetti brothers and other young players at the club who are entering the National Team for the first time.
The consistent attacking is labelled as “hard work” by Wang but she admits the benefits to her game.
You can see the two training in the archived live stream below just after Amy returned from Shanghai.
The Alguettis were back to their usual practice regime, often you walk into the club and see one of them training with a practice partner while the other two taunt each other during a competitive match or engage in practice. These are three hard working young men and the results have been clear both domestically and internationally over the course of the past 1-2 years.
The team spirit exhibited by the boys has contributed to their outstanding results, particularly in team events and doubles as well as their impressive performances in the singles. Sharon and Gal teamed up to win Cadet team gold in Croatia and silver in Slovenia, while older brother Adar performed well in the Juniors taking silver in the team event and beating cadet WR#4 Yu Kamayu of Japan.
“Losing leads to success” claims Sharon Alguetti, who pinpointed his early losses in France and the North American Olympic Qualification this year as the driving force behind his desire to work harder. Victory ensued in Poland, Croatia, Slovenia and at World Cadets.
“I try hard to keep up with school work, but in my free time I focus on physical training” says Sharon who credits the first USATT Super Camp with giving him a big idea about how to make a more professional approach to physical training. “As the Super Camp went on I became more tired and realized I should do more physical conditioning.”
The Alguetti Brothers with Training Partners at Lily Yip Table Tennis Center
Alguetti also credits a mix of training partners to helping his matchplay, “It is helpful to play and become familiar with as many styles as possible,” and for him this involves training with a handful of Chinese training partners, Kaden Xu a strong forehand player who recently won the Westchester October Open, Jin Yuxiang a long pimple chopper and Chen Ruichao a left handed 2700 level player as well as occasionally being put through his paces in dropshot practice or multiball by Lily Yip with her penhold short pimples.
“We have been fortunate to have good support with our equipment from Joola which has really helped with our preparations and performances in the US and overseas, “admits Adar, a sentiment mirrored by all four players, the three brothers and Amy Wang, who are grateful for the support of Joola USA in helping them maintain professional equipment and appearance out in competition and practice.
The training ethic of the four players holds no secrets as to why they are finding success on the international stage. A great hope for the future of USA Table Tennis, along with other strong junior and cadet players in the National Youth Teams!