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Masters success for Ethan Walsh

27 February 2015 No Comment

Ethan Walsh ranked the number 1 under 13 in England (current National Champion) at table tennis has had a great season winning tournaments at both junior and senior level.

One of the most important events that Ethan has been training for is the National Cadet Masters held on 21st/22nd February at Burton Uxbridge which involves the top 12 ranked under 15 year old players in England and they all play each other for final positions. Ethan got picked for this event as he is ranked 7th in the under 15’s – with Ethan still only being 12 years old it was going to be a tough ask for him physically and mentally.

The week before the Masters was half term which Ethan spent all week in Plymouth at an intense England training camp (this normally involves getting up at 7am – going for a morning run) before spending the day training at table tennis and lots of physical activities and tests – this was all getting Ethan ready for the weekend ahead.

All players turned up ready for the masters – Ethan was feeling very nervous as he knew what he had ahead of him and for this event you need to be physically and very mentally strong as if you are having a bad day you need to carry on and keep going.

Ethans first match was against Joe Clarke and it didn’t start off as Ethan had liked – although each leg was close Ethan finally lost to Joe – not a great start even though Joe was ranked number 4 (Ethan 7th). After a half an hour rest back for match number 2 against Shayan Shiraj (ranked 5) – Ethan just lost the first leg but battled to get the second leg to make it 1-1 – something then clicked in Ethan and there was no turning back and Ethan ended up winning 3-1. Ethan was now buzzing and couldn’t wait for the next 2 matches against James Smith (number 3 seed) and Harry Dai (number 2) – it was going to be a battle – but a battle Ethan ended up winning against both players ranked above him – Ethan beat James and Harry and was playing some of the best table tennis ever. After these wins the weekend just got better and with Ethans amazing backhand and powerful forehand he was unstoppable and mentally strong. With day 1 over Ethan was in joint 4th position but had played all of the top players ranked above him. Sunday was going to be tough but Ethan could see the finish line and was hoping to come top 3. Ethans form did not stop on Sunday and he won every match which meant he ended up winning bronze – this was a tremendous achievement as Ethan was the youngest competitor and ranked 7th – he beat the number 2,3, 5 and 6th seed all ranked above him – beating everyone ranked below him.

Afterwards Ethan was interviewed : ‘I knew I had to stayed focused. I was nervous at the beginning of the event but once I won my first match I knew I was playing well and kept as motivated as possible’ ‘Every game is tough – there are no easy games and I am really pleased getting bronze – I have 2 more years left in this age group to try and get gold’

Ethan has a busy few months ahead with the National School finals and the National Championships coming up where he is the number 1 seed in both events.

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