National spots on the line at Junior/Senior Table Tennis Championships

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The Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) has scheduled its Junior and Senior Championships this month at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Homestretch Avenue.

This disclosure was made by GTTA President, Godfrey Munroe, during an exclusive interview with News Room Sport.

According to Munroe, it was critical for the Association to host a National Championship since there was a “debate” over who are actually the country’s top players.

GTTA President Godfrey Munroe

Apart from crowning the respective champions, it will be used as a selection criterion, however, he did clarify that it is not the sole means for national team selection.

The Junior Championship will be held on January 21-24, while the Seniors tournament will be staged on January 29-30.

The Juniors will contest in both Boys and Girls Under-15s and 19s, along with Doubles and Mixed Doubles, while the Seniors will also have the B-Class and C-Class categories.

Munroe said the players are up for the challenges that await, as they have been undergoing intense training.

Olympian Chelsea Edghill is among some of the top players who have signalled their intention to participate.

The significant aspect of these championships is it being the baseline for selection to national teams in 2022 from the standpoint that apart from the winners, those who finish below could be chosen for developmental tours or programmes organised by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

“It will synchronise our programmes with the ITTF because their ranking system initially was based on performance in international competitions, but then they moved towards a participatory model where you get points, but they have pegged that back.”

Munroe added, “They are looking at three systems: a feeder system which awards a certain amount of points; a challenge series; and the continental events.”

It means now, the GTTA, based on the results of the Nationals, can decide which player falls into those categories and bring a more structured system for team selection.

Munroe indicated they are working to ensure at least the senior players are given significant financial rewards for their success at these championships. Financial incentives are being explored as well for the junior players.

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