Table Tennis events suspended worldwide until June 1
By Akeem Greene
President of the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), Godfrey Munroe, on Wednesday indicated that based on a directive from the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), all competitions are suspended until June 1 due to the raging novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
At the start of 2020, the GTTA schedule was packed with activities for Guyanese players, however, all have thus far been provisionally postponed due to the pandemic.
The women’s national team had qualified for the World Championships in Busan, South Korea, from March 22-29 and was set to compete at the Senior Caribbean Championships from April 2-8 in Cuba.
The Caribbean championships would have been used as a qualification event for the World Singles Championships in Houston, Texas, in June 2021.
Also, there were the Olympic Continental trials for Latin America from April 14-19 in Argentina, the Caribbean Junior and Cadet Championships, and Latin Training Camp from April 16-29 in the Dominican Republic.
“We are truly affected by the coronavirus and based on the current status all events have been suspended until June 1 and that is an ITTF directive and all its affiliates will have to follow. The federation is waiting to see how things pan out in terms of the state of the pandemic and if travel will become possible in the near future to make the determination when we should reschedule,” the GTTA head related to News Room Sport on Wednesday.
Guyana is slated to host the Caribbean Mini and Pre-Cadet Championships and Hopes Training Camp (11 and 13 years and under) from August 14 -29 and that could also be in jeopardy due to a shift in the calendar of activities.
Regarding the age group championships, Munroe stated there has not been a definitive word on how they will approach the issue of persons becoming overaged due to the shift in dates.
“They have not made a final decision as yet. Like in the Olympics position, you can suffer litigation if persons who would have already qualified have to qualify again or a person who was eligible becomes overaged.”
He added, “I think the position being posited, but I can definitively pronounce on it is, have the event be determined as the 2020 event which would make eligible athletes based on age be able to participate.”
The former national player further urged all players to stay fit, but do so in a safe manner.