After three days of tournament matches at the ITTF World Junior Table Tennis Championships, the standard of play has impressed all in attendance at the Bendigo Stadium.
“We have some of the best junior table tennis players in the world competing in Bendigo and the standard of play from all of them has exceeded expectations,” ITTF Oceania executive director Christian Holtz said.
“It’s hard to predict who will win the team events but the favourites are China, Japan, Korea and Germany.”
Despite not being able to excel through to team event finals, the Australian and New Zealand sides were still able to make their mark on the tournament by winning matches against key players.
“The reality is that Australia and New Zealand are not as competitive as some of the other countries in the tournament,” Holtz said.
“But the future is bright for Australia, there are two junior players who are the future for table tennis in the country.
“This experience for Nicholas Lum and Finn Luu is fantastic and in three years time I’m sure they will be competing for medals.”
The event marks the first time the ITTF WJTTC has been held in Australia since its inception in 2003.
“This is truly a milestone moment for us that we are able to hold an event of this magnitude,” Holtz said.
“We’re happy the City of Greater Bendigo is able to showcase the fantastic facilities at the Bendigo Stadium.
“It’s very fitting for the event to be held in Bendigo because there is a rich history of table tennis here.”
Feedback on the tournament from the players has been “overwhelmingly” positive.
“The people of Bendigo have been so welcoming to everyone involved with the tournament,” Holtz said.
“All the feedback from the athletes has been overwhelmingly great.
“Everyone is going to leave the event with a truly wonderful experience of playing in Australia.”
The Bendigo District Table Tennis Association is assisting the ITTF during the tournament with volunteers who have been helping with day-to-day operations.
“They have contributed a lot in the way of volunteers. They’ve helped with all of the set-up and with running the tournament,” tournament director Phil Davis said.
WJTTC Tournament schedule
- December 5: Team events finals and mixed doubles preliminary rounds.
- December 6: Boys and girls singles preliminary groups.
- December 7: Singles preliminary groups and doubles knockout stages.
- December 8: Singles and doubles knockout stages.
- December 9: Singles semi finals and doubles finals.
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