Coach reckons trip to Rio is on table

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COMMONWEALTH Games gold medallist Alex Perry believes Yolanda has the tools to get to Rio.

Working as the head coach at the Grantham TT Academy, Alex has seen the teenager make steady progress since she first arrived in September 2011.

Yolanda is on a tough schedule of college work and training as well as squeezing in weekends in Sweden where she plays for Malmo IF in the Elite South Division of the Women’s National League.

Alex, who represented England in the table tennis team event at the Manchester games in 2002, is helping the teenager cope with the rigours of daily training.

“It’s a very gruelling schedule,” said Alex. “But Yolanda has a very structured week.

“All the TT students live, study, train and rest within a 400 metre radius of the college campus.

“I’ve been coaching herefor five years and Yolanda is the best female I’ve seen .

“She has adapted very well to life here as it is tough being so far from home aged just 16.

“But she is bright and she is studying very well too.

“She is among the top 10 players in the country now and to move on she needs to cement a place in the under 21 England squad.

“Yolanda has natural ability and is a good athlete. She has a good serve, backhand and counter attack.

“She is quite aggressive and is a traditional top spin looper.

“Once she gets to university she will need access to top training facilities and I hope that Grantham can continue to play a part especially if she ends up in Nottingham which is not too far away.

“In a couple of years she will be even stronger and I expect her to be knocking on the door for Rio.

“Even a medal is possible I believe as she has a very dangerous game.

“But just getting to Rio will be an achievement and I am sure she will do very well.”