Palau South Pacific Mini Games bronze medalist Chen Lin Ying of table tennis may not be able to play for the CNMI in the upcoming 2006 Micronesian Games.
Marianas Amateur Table Tennis Association official Mario Espeleta relayed the news last week that Chen, who owns Fu Ye Construction, is contemplating a move to Australia because “business hasn’t been doing well lately on Saipan.”
Espeleta said Chen has been traveling back and forth between his homeland, China, and Saipan the past few months and is carefully weighing his options whether to stay and continue with his business in the Commonwealth or relocate altogether to the Land Down Under, where he says, “economy is much better.”
The 35-year-old Chen, along with teammates Budhi Gurung, Su Yong Dong, and coach and alternate Steve Lim bagged a bronze medal in last summer’s Mini Games table tennis competition in Palau.
The team actually finished fourth behind powerhouses New Caledonia (Gold), Guam (Silver), Fiji (Bronze), but since the South Pacific Games Council awards two bronze medals—one for the third place team and a second to the fourth place teams—the CNMI was able to salvage bronze.
Chen and company had their brightest moment during the Mini Games against Solomon Islands, whose players were swept by the NMI representatives, 9-0.
The CNMI Men’s National Table Tennis Team rebounded admirably from a 9-0 shutout suffered in the hands of Guam earlier in the competition.
Aside from their shellacking of the Solomon Islands, Chen and company also swept Marshalls, 9-0, and took two of the nine games against New Caledonia in their opening bout and took Fiji to the limit before falling, 5-4.
Espeleta also said that MATTA is gearing up for yet another goodwill tournament against Tinian next month. He said MATTA members are currently practicing twice a week at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium multi-purpose room to prepare for the competition.
He also disclosed that MATTA is no longer expecting to have Rowell “Jet” Yatco onboard to serve as head coach of the CNMI National Table Tennis Team after the former Philippine Men’s National Table Tennis Team coach declined MATTA president Steve Lim’s offer to relocate to Saipan.
Espeleta said Lim, who is in Manila is a business trip after helping his company expand their business to Guam earlier this year, is currently looking for a viable coach to mentor the team from the Philippines.