f8c13f299e868210VgnVCM200000e66411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q3Burden of expectation is too much as juniors edged out of silvere8c13f299e868210VgnVCM200000e66411ac____Burden of expectation is too much as juniors edged out of silverThe UAE junior team's fear of losing cost them the silver medal at the GCC Championships, according to coach Sun Ting.<p>The UAE junior team's fear of losing cost them the silver medal at the GCC Championships, according to coach Sun Ting.
The juniors had to settle for bronze - the only medal for the hosts in the team events - after being edged out 2-3 by tournament runners-up Kuwait in their final round-robin match yesterday.
Qatar won all their four matches to clinch the junior team title. Bahrain finished fourth while Saudi Arabia were last.</p>
<p>Waleed al Balooshi kept the UAE in the hunt for a silver by winning both his matches, but failed to get enough support from his teammates. Butti al Shamsi went down to Khalid al Baghli and Mohammed Mahmoud lost twice, including the deciding tie against Abdullah al Muqaimi.
"The players did try to fight, but they are probably not as strong in the mind," said Ting, who has been brought in for two months to help the team. "I think they were scared of losing.</p>
<p>"We need to start sending the team to train abroad. Playing against better players will improve their levels, both technically and mentally."
The juniors were the only success story in a disappointing campaign at home for the UAE. The senior men's team finished fourth, while the cadets were at the bottom of their four-team group, failing to win a single match in three ties.
Mohsin Eldemerdash, technical director of the UAE Table Tennis Association, blamed the poor performances on the burden of expectations as hosts.</p>
<p>"The results are disappointing," he said.
"We had a good one-month training camp. We also had friendly matches with many teams. We had Chinese and Egyptian players here. So the preparations were really good.
"But I think they were carrying the burden of expectations, the pressure that they must win. We still have the singles and doubles, so we hope we will finish with more than one medal."</p>