You are here

William Henzell's Blog October 25, 2013


I'm in Verviers, Belgium for the Men's World Cup which starts tomorrow. I qualified for the World Cup by winning our continental championships, the Oceania Cup, back in May in Bendigo. The World Cup is certainly the real deal with only 20 players competing for $150,000 in prize money. World Cups are always very well organised and a pleasure to compete in.

I arrived in Belgium yesterday after 35 hours of travel from Melbourne. My flight from Melbourne to Dubai had only 90 passengers in a whole A380 which meant I could stretch out over 4 sleeps and have the best sleep I've ever had on a flight to Europe. I trained in the competition hall this morning and had a great session with two former World number 1s - Vladamir Samsonov and Jean-Michel Saive.

It was the first time over 3 months that I hadn't played with either of my regular training partners, Dave Powell and Heming Hu, and it felt very different! The shot quality of these top guys is so good and even their weak shots when out of position are tricky. There's no doubt my game and body have slowed down since the Olympics last year, when I came close to beating Samsonov, and I'm a fair way off their pace now. We played some sets at the end of the session and I lost all 5 of the sets. There was a close 9-9 set against Saive but alas. But it was good to get my speed up for the matches tomorrow.

I've been drawn to play against Tang Peng from Hong Kong and Kamal Ashanta from India. Both are ranked well above me in the World and will be difficult opponents. I start against Kamal at 10am European time (7pm Melbourne time) tomorrow and then play Tang Peng at 1pm European (10pm Melbourne) time. You can follow live video streaming here and results here.

Published date: 
Fri, 10/25/2013 - 01:15