February 25, 2020
Sally Moyland’s Taiwan Under 18 Junior trip
(By Sally Moyland)
The format for the Taiwan team trials is arranged in rounds. For the U18 there were three rounds, and four people make the junior team each round. Because of the coronavirus, there were strict controls in place at the tournament. Anyone other than players, umpires, coaches, and staff were prohibited from entering the stadium. Also, right at the entrance there were tournament staff measuring the temperature of anyone coming through the doors. On the first day I even had to sign an agreement that if I got sick it would have nothing to do with the table tennis association nor the school the tournament was held at.
To get on the junior team you need to win six matches in a row. In the second round I managed to win four matches, lost the fifth and that was the farthest I have ever gotten in the junior team trials. So, I was pretty happy with that.
This competition was also one of the very few times that my parents were not able to attend and I needed to set up the cameras. My teammates would help me record my matches. I set up two cameras, one was a live stream on Facebook so my parents could watch at home. The other one was a camcorder that I used as a backup.
We had four players, including me, and two coaches. To participate in the Taiwan junior team trials, you must have made a national team (U12, U15, U18), top three or top five in a major tournament, or a recommendation from one of the larger Taiwan table tennis associations. There is also a rule to help promote different varieties of style, such as choppers and penholders. These two styles are able to participate automatically.
My first day of the competition was not smooth. I didn’t make the U18 team. There is one more U18 trial this year and I hope to advance farther (shooting for winning five matches in one round).
I want to thank Butterfly for their sponsorship, my parents for supporting me, and my coaches and teammates for helping me during this competition.