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Table Tennis to miss World Championships despite new dates

KABELO BORANABI
Table Tennis to miss World Championships despite new dates. PIC. KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) will not send a team to the 2020 World Table Tennis Championships to be held in Busan, Korea Republic later this year.

The BTTA was presented with a second bite of the cherry after the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) announced new dates for the World Championships. The tournament was initially scheduled for March 22-29, but due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, it has been moved to September 27 to October 4.

BTTA president, Kudzanani Motswagole said despite the new dates, the association did not want to send a half-baked squad. He also said the association is facing financial challenges. "We will not be sending a team to the championships because we feel that there is a huge gap between us and the international standards. So we decided that we start with regional tournament first so our players can up their game first. There is also the issue of funding that we felt there would be no use to send a team that is not ready for the tournament. We want to compete at

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this kind of tournament, rather than just to go there and participate," he told Mmegi Sport.

Meanwhile, Motswagole said the BTTA is left to count costs since the outbreak of the pandemic. He said four tournaments and a national team selection competition were postponed. "We have missed four sponsored tournaments thus far, which is really bad. Some of our players do not work and they rely on the prize money from these tournaments. Sponsors on the other hand partner with us so that we can give them mileage during our competitions. But as of now they are not getting a return also. I cannot quantify how much we have lost but we are not doing good at the moment," he said.

Motswagole said the BTTA is waiting for the Botswana National Sports Commission to give direction on the government relief fund. All table tennis activities have since been suspend until June 30.



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