Thursday 11 August 2011

Oceania's Powerhouse of Ping Pong

Continuing in my theme of interviewing great and inspiring players I sent some questions to one of my favourite table tennis players of all time, Simon Gerada. I had the distinct pleasure of playing Simon in my first international table tennis match in Hobart this year and it was a very intimidating experience. I'm a great fan of Simon's style and aggression out on the table and love to watch him play! Here is his interview, enjoy!
Full Name: Simon Gerada
Age: 30
Date Of Birth: 20/03/1981
Height: 186

Simon at the GSSE Games 2011
Image Courtesy of  Time of Malta. 

Nation represented: Australia/Malta

Highest World Ranking: 180
Equipment Used?

Blade: Andro Allround
FH Rubber: Andro Hexer ($50 retail)
BH Rubber: Andro Hexer X ($50 retail)

Your Career

How long have you been playing table tennis for, when did you start?
Since 8 years of age, so 22 years now.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My father, the support for one but he’s always given me a never too hard attitude.

What do you feel has been your biggest achievement to date?
Becoming the best player in Australia and Oceania in 2003. Simon also won the Oceania Championships Mens Singles in 2000 and has been one of Oceanias top table tennis players from a relatively young age.
Is there anything you would change in your table tennis career if you could do it all again?
What are your future goals in table tennis?
Make the Olympic games London. This will involve Simon playing the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament early next year and placing in the top 3 to qualify.

What's your view on the Chinese dominance at the moment; why are they so good do you believe?
Basically, the Chinese have developed a perfect documented system. Imagine creating the best athlete and then re-producing that athlete over and over again. And only modifying the system based on the next perfect athlete.The Chinese use this system right across as many locations in the country and reproduce the same system in different tiers.

What is your favourite shot in your game and why?

Forehand counterloop; because the opponent thinks they have the advantage with making the first loop before I play my counter which usually goes right on by them.
During your career where has table tennis taken you, in terms of training and playing?

Lost count along the way.
Who's the toughest opponent you have ever overcome in a match?

Many different moments and players during the different stages of my career. Simon was noted as the toughest opponent for another of Australia's best, William Henzell.
What is the most memorable match you have ever played?

Jan Ove Waldner at the World Cup in front of 6 thousand people.
What do you think are some of the key factors in becoming a successful table tennis?

Train hard and to have a good team behind you

Off the Topic Questions

Who’s your favourite sportsman of all time? Roger Federer

Favourite film? I have a top 10

What's your dream car? Ford GT40

What do you do in your spare time other than table tennis?
Family, Golf, Business (HWATT), Café

Do you eat well or eat junk?

PS3 or XBOX 360?
What would be the first thing you would do if you won $1million?
Go to the bank
 Some of Simon's great points from the 2009 Australian Open and Closed Championships.
Your Team Mates

Who’s the funniest player in the training hall? Dee Muhammad

Who trains the hardest in the training hall?
Ivan, Nathan, Derek, Zaki, Melissa and Muammad

Who has the best nickname? Lewy the Fly

And Lastly

Would you like to add one last tip, or an inspirational message to us all?

Train hard and just do it!

Thanks Simon, all the best for the Australian Closed Champs and the not so far away Olympic Qualification Tournament!

You can also check out Simon's business HWATT (Health Wellness and Table Tennis) which runs multipurpose training and coaching programme's.

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