Hugo Calderano talks about his chances at the Tokyo Games
Hugo Calderano is set to play in the Tokyo Games as the 7th best player in the world. He will represent Brazil at the event and wants to be their table tennis ace. He has various medals across many events and he wants to serve as the hope for players outside of China.
At 25 years of age, Hugo is a solid talent in table tennis. He is motivated to perform for Brazil since he’s their star and he wants to prove he’s a top talent in the highest tier. Most people will point to China as the hub for table tennis but Hugo wants to start an era where Brazil will also appear as a top place for the sport.
Hugo talked about his goal for the Games later this year. He said, ‘My goal of course is to fight for a medal. I think the Chinese players are the big favourites in table tennis, but there are also other very strong players, maybe 10 other players, who can also fight for medals’.
Just like other pro sports, the mental struggle is part of the process. The past year was a rollercoaster for any athlete including Hugo who took it as a chance to refresh his mind and train further. He took lessons from his mental coach in the past and it remains with him today long after the coach’s passing.
Hugo talked about the issues that he faces during these bouts with his thoughts.
‘I do a lot of visualization. I’m not working with a mental coach now, but I’ve been with one in the past’, he said. ‘I still have some tools that I can use that he gave me, and I think I’m well prepared mentally. That’s always been one of my strengths, so I’m confident I’ll be able to perform and be well prepared mentally’.
Hugo has learned from his past
Back in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Hugo competed at the Games. He learned so many lessons from that experience and he did it in front of his hometown. Since then, he has improved all around because he has been in a better physical condition and he has improved his place in the world rankings.
Hugo has played around the world and he knows he has a chance to win a medal. He has learned so many lessons from every place he visits and he takes them to heart. He wants to compete in the top tier of table tennis and he has a chance to do so at the Tokyo Games.
The 25-year-old will not be favourite heading into the Games but you can expect he will do his best to compete for that medal. It will be fun to see him and his hard work pay off in Tokyo.
Words: Cholo Martin