Also coming to Celje is the 18-year-old American Jenson Van Emburgh. “SPINT 2018 is very important because it will be a very good experience, helping me grow as a competitor in this sport. Yes, it is my very first world championship! My plans for SPINT 2018 is to soak in the experience, try my best and try to give myself opportunities to win,” he shares his thoughts just days before the start of the tournament.

“I am pretty satisfied with my shape and I think I am playing well. So let’s see what happens. I plan to adjust to the time change, get used to the conditions and be ready for the first matches,” Jenson says on his shape and how he plans to spent the last days before his first match in Celje. “I would also like to mention that my grandma has cancer and that I will dedicate me playing in this tournament to her. She is the best and she will get through this!” he is determined and then returns to thinking about table tennis.

“My advantages in the game are my backhand and also my angles. I think I am very good at making the ball short and out of reach of my opponent. I practice 5 days a week and a few hours per day. My coach is Gary Fraiman and he will be with me during the tournament,” he also unveils his strongpoints and the amount of time he spends working with his coach.

“I decided for table tennis because my family is a tennis family. I tried tennis but found it difficult because of my balance. I tried table tennis and found it easier for me. Also, I think I am better at it than at tennis. When I was in school, I tried to keep a good balance between sports and school. I also tried to get ahead on my school work so I had more time to train table tennis,” we learn about his balancing between school and sport.

Jenson has been to Slovenia before. “I have very good experience with Slovenia. I have been to Lasko for two tournaments and two training camps. So it is nice to come back to a familiar place,” he adds and quickly points out he also knows the Slovenian Goran Dragić, basketball player for Miami Heat.