Table tennis bids for regional tourney

Bid submitted: BTTA president, Motswagole PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Bid submitted: BTTA president, Motswagole PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

The Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) is set to go toe-to-toe with neighbours South Africa for the hosting rights of the 2023 World Table Tennis Championships regional qualification tournament.

The two neighbours have bid to host the southern Africa qualification tournament that is to be held in the first half of this year. BTTA has suggested the qualifiers be held in May while South Africa proposed April. Durban, will meanwhile host the World Championship as the competition returns to the continent for the first time since 1939, when they where held in Egypt. “It is only us (BTTA) and South Africa. We are the only countries to have bid to host the World Championship qualifiers .

The ATTF (African Table Tennis Federation) will give the verdict soon, but I believe we stand a good chance against South Africa. Our neighbours, I believe will want to test their readiness to host the World Championship by hosting the qualification tournament. But I believe we are equally capable to host a tournament of this nurture.

For our bid, we have said we want to host the qualifying tournament in May, we are always ready to host whenever we are called upon. As of now we will wait for the ATTF’s decision,” BTTA’s president, Kudzanani Motswagole told Mmegi Sport this week.

The regional qualifying tournament is the first round of the World Championship qualifiers. Tunisia will host the continental qualifiers this year where the continent has been allocated four spots in each category at the world spectacle. Motswagole told Mmegi Sport that the ATTF has requested for the host continent to be given an extra spot at the World Championships. “The World Championships are played under very strict conditions.

Every match is televised live, and the schedule cannot be disturbed anyhow. We, as continent asked for one more spot at the World Championships and we are to hear the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation)’s deliberation.

The BTTA had in December hosted a tournament only open to the players from southern Africa. In 2018, BTTA hosted AUSC Region 5 Games in Gaborone.

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