Edward Ly – It’s all about believing

By Brian Ash

When Edward Ly steps to the table at the 2019 Canada Games he entertains a mixed audience. His fellow competitors certainly know him; he has been a presence in Canadian table tennis for some time. But his 2018 results have created a new awareness:
ITTF Canadian Junior Open Cadet Champion
Runner up at the ITTF Croatia Junior Open 2018 team event
US Open U15 Champion
US Open U18 Champion
His junior world ranking has jumped to 46.

The many Red Deer spectators who are new to the sport don’t know these numbers. What they see is an imposing young athlete who moves like a cat on the court, pouncing on opportunities to unleash attacks from both wings seemingly without effort.

And they are wrong. Effort is in fact the key to Edward’s success.

Working closely with coach Maxime Suprenant, he now practices 15 hours per week along with tournament play and the steady demands of school. But he knows this is not enough. That volume will increase. He also trains in Denmark periodically, up to eight hours per day in a club where in humble fashion he describes himself as “the worst player.”

As he describes the regimen his commitment becomes clear. He has always loved table tennis, but recently he experienced an epiphany of sorts. At the 2018 US Open he faced a formidable opponent in Michael Tran. After losing the first game he found his rhythm, gaining confidence with each rally and finding the crucial element for success: believing in himself. He carried this newfound confidence to the semi final, defeating the #1 seed Jinbao Ma and eventually claimed gold over countryman Jeremy Hazin.

Since then his focus has been Canada Games which he knows is an important part of the process that will allow him to realize his short term goals: A Top 10 World Junior Ranking, a Pan Am Junior Championship, and a top 64 world senior ranking – serious stuff!
The ultimate prize a – 2024 Olympic berth and the opportunity to make history.

Like the Olympics, the Canada Games appear in a four -year cycle with focused periodic training. The multisport experience feeds on provincial pride much as the Olympic flame is fueled by national passion. In both cases our country is lifted by the accomplishments of our talented ambassadors who most often get just one chance to participate. The standards for all aspects of the event are high including coach certification, venue appointments, and officiating.

Edward exudes a quiet confidence. He is generous in his estimations of the players he will face in Red Deer, taking no one lightly and always respectful of even those opponents who are ranked much lower. Insightfully, he explains how important it is for Canadian players to push each other to excellence.

The talented young table tennis players at the 2019 Canada Games are doing just that. How far can they push Edward Ly?

Brian Ash
Table Tennis

*Update February 23 – Edward Ly won 3 gold medals at the 2019 Canada Games: Men’s Team event with Québec, Mixed doubles with Sophie Gauthier, and Men’s singles