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USATT Reveals Coaching Excellence Awards for 2022

by USA Table Tennis

2022 Coach of the Year Awards (Photo by USA Table Tennis)

Wei Qi, Hailong Shen, Vlad Farcas, and Sean O’Neill are named as USA Table Tennis’ Coaches of the Year for 2022.

Colorado Springs, CO – USA Table Tennis today announced the annual award recipients of the 2022 Coaching Excellence Awards.

National Coach of the Year: Wei Qi (Rochester, MN)

Mark Nordby Developmental Coach of the Year: Hailong Shen (Fremont, CA)

Para Coach of the Year: Vlad Farcas (San Antonio, TX)

Para Developmental Coach of the Year: Sean O’Neill (Portland, OR)

The task of selections for the Coaching Excellence Awards to determine the 2022 Coaches of the Year was comprised of the USATT National Team Head Coach, Para Program Director, High Performance Committee, Coaching Committee, and Athletes' Advisory Council.

Selection Committee for 2022 Coaches of the Year:

Gao Jun, USATT National Team Head Coach

Jasna Rather, USATT Para Program Director

Khoa Nguyen, Chair, USATT High Performance Committee

Pieke Franson, Chair, USATT Coaching Committee

Tara Profitt, Chair, USATT Athletes' Advisory Council

National Coach of the Year – Wei Qi

Coach Qi participated in the ITTF Pan American Championships. He studied all athletes’ abilities of all other countries, specifically their strong and weak areas. It was very crucial to prepare strategies for the athletes when they competed with them. During the competition, Coach Qi analyzed the recorded video clips with the athletes to provide his suggestions to improve. It helped reduce the pressure on the athletes before the competition. Coach Qi, a dedicated and well-respected coach, had proven himself to be of talent and quality.

Coach Qi's dedication to coach has helped many to advance to their best. He can quickly pinpoint the areas that the players need to improve to help talented players achieve their goals. In the 2022 ITTF Pan American Cadet Championships, the U15 Boys team won gold medals for all events, Team Gold, Singles Gold, Doubles Gold, and Mixed Doubles Gold. In the 2022 ITTF Pan American U11 & U13 Championships, Coach Qi helped the US Team as the team leader. The team was managed by five coaches with sixteen players.

2022 Pan American Championships U11 & U13 (Santo Domingo Dominican Republic) 17- 24 September

U11 Boys team Champion & Final-List Jason Liu, Kyler Chen & Arjun Kumar, Caillou Chen
U13 Boys (Ryan Lin & Winston Wu Kef Noorani & Dhruv Chopra)
U13 Mix Doubles Champion (Ryan Lin & Amina)
U13 Boys Doubles Final- list (Ryan Lin & Winston Wu)
U13 Girls Doubles Champion (Mandy YU & Aria Shi)
U11 Girls doubles Champion and Girls Team Champion (Abigail Yu & Irene Yeoh)
U11 Girls Singles Finalist (Abigail YU)

2022 Pan American Cadet Championships U15 (Cuenca ECUADOR) 23-28 August

Boys Team Champions — (Daniel Tran, Darryl Tsao, Andrew Yang, Anav Gupta)
Boys Single Champion (Daniel Tran)
Boys Doubles Champion (Daniel Tran & Darryl Tsao)
Mix Doubles (Daniel Tran & Sally Moyland)

Mark Nordby Developmental Coach of the Year – Hai Long Shen

"First, thank you USATT for this great honor of the Mark Nordby Developmental Coach of the Year award. This is the greatest affirmation and recognition of my US coaching career. Second, my deepest gratitude to Table Tennis America (TTA) team and all my supporters. Their selfless support is my best motivation to get up each morning and execute on our common dream of advancing table tennis in the US. I am confident that this dream will be recognized as US table tennis continues to rank up in the world." — Hailong Shen, 2022 Mark Nordby Developmental Coach of the Year

Para Coach of the Year – Vlad Farcas

For last year: In the 2022 Para Spain Open Vlad Farcas coached Jenson Van Embugh to two gold medals (Doubles and Singles) and Ahad Sarand to one gold (doubles) and one singles medal. Fracas traveled with Van Emburgh to the French Open where he earned two bronze medals, and also coached him in Slovenia Open for two more bronze medals. Following the European trip, Farcas was with the Para National Team at the Mexico Open where he coached Ahad Sarand to two golds and one silver as well as Jenson Van Emburgh to three golds, and Samuel Altshuler to a silver medal.

After the trip to Mexico, Vlad Farcas coached the USA Team in the training camp before Para Worlds. At the Para World Championships, he went on to coach Jenson Van Emburgh to a silver medal in Class 3 Singles. In the final tournament of the year, Farcas joined the USA Para Developmental Team in Costa Rica Open where he coached Logan Watson to a gold and two silvers, Zach Pickett to a bronze and a silver, and Zack Wentz to a silver medal.

Throughout the year Farcas worked physical training with Jenson Van Emburgh for around 3 hours a day (year-long) and was always in touch with USA Para Developmental Team offering advice when needed.

Para Developmental Coach of the Year – Sean O’Neill

Sean O’Neill has worked primarily with two truly dedicated Para players in 2022, Matt Weber (Class 7) and Nathan Nelson (Virtus II3) in Portland, Oregon. Matt recently competed for Team USA in Cancun and Costa Rica winning a Bronze medal and earning his first world ranking at #61. Nathan is improving and increasing his match experience playing in Paddle Palace Club Tournaments. “Both Matt and Nathan are amazing on and off the table and it is a thrill to work with them. Oregon Sports Action, a non-profit that Sean serves on as a Board of Director helped create Para Community program at the Portland VA where Matt teaches Vets the many benefits of table tennis. Plans are to expand the outreach to Portland’s Shriner Hospital in 2023. Nathan continues to light up our local tournaments with his desire, sportsmanship, and positive attitude” shared O’Neill. Sean’s hope is for Matt to qualify for the 2023 Para Pan Am Games and Nathan to compete in the Virtus Global Games.

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