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With the focus on youth, 14 year old Ariel Hsing representing the USA was ready to take the stage, making history to compete at the first ever Youth Olympic Games. On February 2nd, 2010, she booked her place among the elite junior athletes by winning the Pan-America Qualification Tournament in El Salvador. At the Youth Olympic Games she faced perhaps the ultimate challenge, as her formidable peers and coaches were assembled from throughout the world.
Before the start of the Games the ITTF arranged a mandatory training for all the qualified athletes. All the athletes attended except for the Gold Medalist from China and the Silver Medalist from Singapore.
The camp director, Mikael Andersson was excellent and really helped Ariel by arranging training for her with all the best girls, including Japan, Korea, Romania, Hong Kong and even North Korea. Ariel and I could not have asked for any better arrangements. The head coach for the camp was World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist Jean Philippe Gatien from France.
The training camp was a great success and many thanks go the ITTF for making this happen.
The competition started on August 20th with the top 32 Girls and 32 Boys from around the world competing. Unfortunately the girl from Germany was unable to attend so Ariel seeding was moved up by one from number 9 to 8.
Girls 1st Stage Results (Group 8) :
Ariel Hsing defeated Carelyn Cordero (PUR) 3-0:
Ariel Hsing lost to Ka Yee Ng (HKG) 2-3:
Ariel Hsing defeated Nuwani G, Vithanage (SRI) 3-1:
Ariel Hsing's Final Match result is 2-1 and advances to 2nd Stage
Girls 2nd Stage Results (Group 2) :
Ariel Hsing defeated Mateja Jeger (HRV) 3-2:
Ariel Hsing lost to Isabelle Siyun Li (SIN) 1-3:
Ariel Hsing lost to Ha-eun Yang (KOR) 0-3:
Ariel Hsing's Final Match Result is 1-2 and does not advance to the quarter-finals
For the team event since there was no North American boy qualified, Ariel was paired with Axel Gavilan from Paraguay to be Team Pan American 1.
Team Event Results (Group A):
Japan defeated Pan American 1 3-0:
Brazil defeated Pan American 1 2-1:
The YOG was designed to give youth not only world-class competition (with a good measure of fun and excitement) but also education and experiences to enhance their lives. Ariel represented the USA with class and dignity, taking from YOG many positive experiences.
It was my great honor to be the US Team Leader and Coach for the Youth Olympic Games and I would personally like to thank the USOC, the ITTF, the USATT and all the players, coaches and parents that made this event such a wonderful experience.