Off to the Races in Cartagena

Simon Gauzy from France - only one of many interesting names in the 2009 World Juniors

It has been a busy last few month for the brave,  bloggin ITTF Education Director,  travelling the world in search for those  positive signs, indicating that we  are on track producing initiatives in support of our sport. Had some interesting  days in Egypt to watch the African Youth Olympic Games qualification and also attended the ETTU coaching conference in Zagreb in mid November .. Before that Brazil for seven days and before that… Well , the  list of  visitations done in the name of  Table Tennis is long,  and intense would be the better word to describe the   period tracking all the way back to mid July.

But here we are now in Cartagena de Indies , Colombia. The year is 2009 and it was six years ago the whole thing started down in Santiago, Chile. That time the first ITTF World Junior Championships – this time the seventh. I would call it a complete cycle , although we are yet to fulfill one important vision in our global concept ; Full Continental rotation with our prime events. Still waiting for Oceania to step up and organize either the World Juniors or the ITTF Cadet Challenge.

Anyway ,  we are off to the races with the team events starting today. It will as always  be interesting to spend six   days  with the best junior players in the world.. Or almost the best should  i say. For some reason it is still a custom with  Japanese National Team Programme  to leave on or two of  their best junior players at home or where-ever they are in this moment. A mistake of course.. You should always try to win championships – when you can.  In most cases the chance to win a world title may never come back again.

Six years have passed , quickly enough for me ,  since Mapocho Station opened its doors to Table Tennis in the Santiago championships 2003.. Still remember every single moment of what was to be a marvelous and refreshing event  for our sport. More than 2000 spectators showed up for the finals and i would also like to eco the words or the ITTF President from the opening ceremony today ; The best thing with the ITTF World Juniors is that you can take a good look at the future of our sport. And that is exactly what we will do tomorrow.. Stay tuned ..

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