Table tennis: Cannington teen brings talent to the table

Stock image.
Stock image.

EVER since she was a baby Jacqueline Budiarto has watched her father compete in table tennis competitions in Indonesia and Australia.

At age five she took up the sport in her own right and has just returned from the 2017 Australian Junior Table Tennis Championship in Hobart, where she played in the WA U18 team that bagged a gold medal.

The Cannington 14-year-old is ranked 14th in Australia for U15 girls and is one of WA’s top U15 girl players.

Her father, Irwan Budiarto, who coaches and mentors his daughter, believes her interest in the sport stems from watching him compete in table tennis games when she was young.

“We brought her to all competitions and training sessions for her to watch. At age eight, she asked me if she could have table tennis training.”

Jacqueline’s goal is to one day compete in the Oceania Championship, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games.

“We all believe she’s capable and with her strong will, she will achieve her dream,” Mr Budiarto said.

“She’s a very dedicated player and trains hard and never give up in any situation. She always shows fairness in her matches and sportsmanship.”

In addition to the twice-weekly training sessions with her dad, Jacqueline does group training once a week, plays pennants during week nights after school and on weekends competes in the WA Open Table Tennis Championships.

Mr Budiarto said table tennis required full concentration, perfect timing, reflexes, great foot work and co-ordination between hands and feet, awareness and emotional control.

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