April 6 is the World Table Tennis Day. The holiday is officially celebrated for the sixth year. In addition, each year this day is dedicated to some actual social problem. In 2021, it is gender equality, the fight against gender discrimination. The International Table Tennis Federation highlights the main issue as the protection of human rights and the involvement of as many young girls as possible in table tennis.
In this regard, we decided to ask Belarussian female athletes what table tennis women they look up to and from whom they take an example.
It so happened that I have never had any idols in sports. Since childhood, watching table tennis, I did not distinguish any athletes in terms of technique or style of play. I admired exclusively the character of the Soviet table tennis players: Irina PALINA, Elena TIMINA. Their struggle for each ball, their incredible fervor for victory was very inspiring. It was then that I realized what a real athlete should be. I took over my motto "fight to the end" from the Soviet sports temper.
I watch all of Hina HAYATA's games. In general, Japanese table tennis players are all professional and restrained in their game. HAYATA laughs a lot during matches, she maybe even fool, but at the same time, she does a great job at the table. She differs from her compatriots in her playing style: Japanese female players usually hold the ball, and from the very beginning, Hina begins to briskly attack.
The Austrian Sofia POLCANOVA impresses me. She is great not only as a player, but also as a person, as she is very sweet and friendly. With a racket in her hand, she behaves calmly. One gets the impression that in those milliseconds while the ball is flying on her half of the table, a whole battle plan of actions has time to be built in her head. Thanks to such deliberation, she manages to reduce mistakes to a minimum.
Among all the famous table tennis players, I can single out Margaryta PESOTSKA. She is already quite experienced and holds the ball confidently, rotates it masterly. Our playing styles are vastly different: she skillfully copes with any difficulties, unlike me. This is the quality I want to learn from her.
All the athletes of our country impress me; in particular, I want to note the leaders of our national team, Nadezhda BOGDANOVA and Daria TRIGOLOS. Each of the girls has her own individual technique; each one stands out in its own way. On the international stage, Puerto Rican Adriana DIAZ has a hallmark. Despite her young age, she is already the 18th racket in the world ranking, such a result for a twenty-year-old girl is a real success! I, in turn, do not want to imitate anyone or become like some kind of athlete, you need to maintain your individuality. And, of course, set goals for yourself and achieve them, while focusing on the best.
Although I was born and grew up in the post-Soviet era, I do not stop being motivated by the play of the most talented Soviet table tennis players. The coach Vladimir Bolikov repeatedly talked about the strong-willed victories of such athletes as Alla MUKHOMOROVA and Inga YAVOROVSKAYA. In addition, I try to grow more and more as a professional player: I analyze each of my games, work through all the pros and cons.