The 2013 World Championships were held in Paris a couple of weeks ago, and they featured some interesting participants. Edwin Suarez was one of them. Suarez, who is considered to be the Philippines’ No.1 table tennis player, was knocked out of the Championships during the knockout round of the tournament. Despite the early exit, Suarez has inspired other Filipino table tennis players, as he only discovered the sport four years ago. Before that, he was a fish vendor, who learned how to play ping pong in a market.
Suarez paid for the Championships out of his own pocket, with some small help from a few friends, and hopes that he can teach the sport to children in his hometown of Panabo. In addition to Suarez, the Filipino table tennis team also boasted the youngest participant in the games, Louie Pineda, who started playing the sport at the young age of 14. The Philippines were the only Asian team to play in the World Championships, and are known for using liha rackets, which are hard rackets with a sandpaper surface.