WORLD Olympic qualifying semifinalist Rose Jean Fadol sees a bright future in table tennis despite limited international exposure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, Fadol is excited to get the opportunity to follow the footsteps of the late Rio de Janeiro Oympian and table tennis superstar Ian Larriba.
And although she missed the chance to book a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics following her semifinal defeat in Doha Fadol is determined to pursue her dreams.
“Yun naman po talaga ang pangarap ko. Hindi ako pinalad sa nakalipas na Asian and World Olympic qualifying tournaments in Doha, pero tuloy lang ang laban,” said Fadol during the “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom.
“Magandang opportunity yun nakasali ako dun at nai-represent ang country natin at nakalaban ko yung isa sa pinakamataas na world-ranked player sa table tennis at umabot ako sa semifinals,” added Fadol during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
“Kaya naman nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng mga tumutulong sa akin, lalo na sa PSC, POC at PTTFI under sir Ting Ledesma. Pati na kay sir Philip Uy. Patuloy ang tiwala nila sa amin sa national team.”
A two-time Southeast Asian Games campaigner in 2017 and 2019, Fadol reached as far as the semis before falling to top seed Orawan Paranang of Thailand, 13-11, 3-11, 5-11, 2-11, 6-11 in the women’s singles of the ITTF-Asian table tennis qualifiers at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena in Doha, Qatar.
Needing a win to make it to the coronavirus- delayed Olympics this year, the 26-year-old Fadol even took the opening game before struggling in the next four sets.
Fadol, who lost to fellow Filipina Jannah Romero in the opener, ended in third place in the Southeast Asian division with a 1-2 record.
The world No. 530-ranked Fadol also lost to world No. 32 Margaryta Pesotska of Ukraine , 11-4, 11-4, 11-3, 11-2, in the women’s semifinals of the World Singles qualification tournament also held in Doha early last month.
“Mas malalakas, mas magagalin yung mga nakalaban namin sa Doha. Yun kalaban kong taga Ukraine ang world rank niya ay nasa #32, samantala sa akin, nasa bandang 500 world ranking.”
But Fadol, a product of Far Eastern University women’s table tennis program, expressed confidence that Filipino table tennis stars can bridge the gap in the near future.
Fadol said Lariba, who made history when she qualified to the Rio Olympics after a successful showing in the ITTF-Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in Hong Kong five years ago, started it all.
“Si Yan-yan talaga ang inspirasyon naming lahat. Kaya tuloy-tuloy lang ang training namin. Yun experience namin sa Doha gagawin naming motivation. Sa nakita namin sa mga nakalaban namin dun, mabilis silang makapag-adjust sa mga bagong strategy at game plan. Yun ang kailangan namin ma-improve,” explained Fadol.
“Saka iba po talaga yun maraming international exposure. Sila naka 10-15 international tournaments a year, kami hanggang tatlo lang.”
“Pero nag-usap na kami nila sir Ting at PTTFI. Magaganda ang mga programa. Kukuha po sila ng mga players galing China para makasama namin sa training, pati sparring, para mas lalong ma-improve ang skills namin.”
Fadol, now on her seventh year with the national team, said she hopes that hard work and preparation will reap its dividends in the coming SEA Games in Vietnam.
“Sa 2019 SEA Games, umabot po ako hanggang quarterfinals.Yung sa doubles, nakalaban namin yung Singapore. Close fight talaga at natapos ang score na 3-2. Kung nanalo sana kami, nakakuha kami ng bronze.. Pero si Kuya Richard Gonzales, naka-bronze medal sa men’s singles. Yun ang pinaka-mataas na medal na nakuha namin,” she recalled.
“Pero sa Vietnam, mas malaki ng chance pati sa team event, lalo na kung makapag bubble training na din kami. Ok na din kahit medyo malayo sa pamilya. Taga Bacolod kasi ako.”
Asked about the plans of the PTTFI to hold a professional table tennis league, Fadol welcomed the idea.
“Sana matuloy. Sa tingin ko malaki ang maitutulong nito, lalo na sa mga collegiate players natin. After kasi mag-college, yung iba pa gusto pa sanang mag-table tennis, pero hindi alam kung saan. a national team naman, tig limang lalaki at babae lang ang kasama.”
Fadol also had one good advise to her fellow athletes, especially women.
“Don’t give up and always do your best. Laban lang,” she said. (with reports from Gab Ferreras)Publication Source : People's Tonight