26 Aug

A word from Bernard Simonin

A word from Bernard Simonin, representing the French TTF at the European youth championships in Prague in July 2009

Several times the representative of the French TTF in the European youth championships since 2002 (in Moscow), I have been able to measure the evolution of the results got by the French players, and to appreciate year after year the improvement of our young players. Up to the fabulous results of last month in Prague, with 6 gold medals, including a second consecutive double for our junior and cadet boys and -for the first time in the history of French table tennis – two individual titles for Simon Gauzy and Quentin Robinot. I’m still shaking with the emotion…

I would like to say that these exceptional results have not just come out of the blue, they are the reward of long-term, quality work started some 8 years ago by the National Technical Direction with Michel Gadal, in detecting and accompanying young talents. The ground work done in clubs and leagues of the FFTT, the creation of the Groupe France Détection – led by Jean-Denis Constant -, the Euro Mini Champ’s tournament (the first edition was in August 2005) as an evaluation of our very young elite playing against the young talents coming from all over Europe, … all this action has boosted our young hopes to the height of Europe. We have only just started to reap the benefits of our work. I am convinced that there will be many more, at an even higher level, in the near future! Just to show the relation between the EMC … and the 2009 European Youth Championships in Prague, I had a look at the results:

In the 2006 EMC, in the category “boys born 1994”, the final results are: : 1 – SÖDERLUND Hampus (Sweden) 2 – GAUZY Simon (France) 3 – HACHARD Antoine (France) 5 – VAN ROSSOMME Emilien (Belgium) 6 – KUIMOV Philipp (Russia) 8 – KIRILLOV Nikita (Russia) …. in Prague Simon Gauzy got his revenge on Söderlund and won the title. All the others were selected and many got very good places in Prague.

Now, who would say that the EMC tournament is not a place where future talents shine?

Bernard Simonin

Co-president of the EMC organising comittee since 2005

FFTT delegate at the Prague Youth Championships in July 2009