The national table tennis squad gets a chance to qualify in the Tokyo Olympics as it sees action in the Asian Qualifying Tournament in Doha starting Thursday.
Fresh from an impressive stint in the World Singles Qualifying Tournament, the squad bannered by former Youth Olympic standout Jann Nayre and RJ Fadol is tipped to go all out to catch the last bus headed for the Tokyo Olympics in July.
Table tennis secretary general Pong Ducanes said he is confident over the chances of his wards, especially since most of Asia’s finest paddlers have already qualified in the Olympics.
“It’s our last hope for qualification. We are hopeful over our chances in this tournament because there’s fewer competitors here,” Ducanes said.
After a four-month training in a bubble camp in Pasig, the team kicked-off its quest for Olympic slots with Nayre and Fadol overcoming players in the top 100 in the world.
Although they stumbled in the women’s semifinals and men’s quarterfinals, respectively, they still made an impact, prompting Ducanes to believe that they have what it takes to qualify in the Summer Games.
“I think there will be a slot that will be allotted for the top Southeast Asian team in the competition,” Ducanes said, adding that Nayre and Fadol will be joined by John Russel Missal and Jannah Romero with head coach Annabelle Comendador.
“We have a chance to really qualify once we beat familiar opponents in the tournament.”
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