Vanuatu’s Table Tennis Guru – Yoshua Shing will be competing for the second time in the Olympic Games and has his sights out for a win in Rio, Brazil, this year.
The young man who has been involved with the sport since he was 10 years old was originally introduced to it by his mother and since he picked up the paddles he has never let them go.
“I started playing for fun and slowly came to like it, after a few years I became hooked and couldn’t stop playing.
“Out of my siblings I am the only one who plays table tennis although each family member is involved in different sports; we’re kind of a ‘sports family’,” Mr Shing explained.
Thirteen years later and after a spate of training sessions in Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and China, the humble competitor from Aneityum Island is focused on bringing a gold medal home for his country.
“Everyone who comes to the Olympic Games is the best of the best as it is the highest level of competition for all sports.
“I am going as a representative for not only Vanuatu but for the whole Pacific and if I play against someone from South America, he is the champion for the whole of South America and if I play against Europe, he’ll probably be of the top 3 players in Europe.
“Hence, every match is very, very difficult, just to win one match would make me smile for 6- 7 months.
“I just want to win one match and look forward to the next match. For this Olympic Games, my first game and every match that follows will be like playing my final match- so I will give it everything I’ve got and treat each match as a final.
“I am not sure if I’m used to the crowd and the atmosphere but I do know I will do better than I did in the London Olympics.”
For his second time in the Olympics the 22-year-old paddle swinging machine mentioned that he is honored to have been chosen to compete and describes it as “a dream come true”.
Mr Shing also spoke about his love for the sport and eventually would like to live up to the expectations of his family, friends and nation.
“I just want to make my nation proud, I just want to show that Vanuatu is in the Olympics, most countries have not qualified because it is very difficult.
“To have qualified to play in the Olympics is a dream come true and it is an honor and a privilege to represent not only Vanuatu but the Pacific.”
The God-fearing man added that the title of his biggest supporter remains with his mum and no matter the outcome – “to God be the Glory”.
The 2016 Rio Olympics starts on August 5th and ends on August 21st.