Most facilities to conduct of TT matches

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Pune, May 11: Construction activities have reached a feverish pitch with only 154 days to go before the curtain goes up for the prestigious 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games and creation of ultra-modern facilities for the conduct of Table Tennis discipline will enable India in hosting the world championships in the near future.

Maharashtra State Table Tennis Association (MSTTA) secretary General Prakash Tulpule said here today that Pune will be on the global map by hosting the Games and at the same time could hold the World championships as well in the near future. India has hosted the world championships three times in the past 1952 in Mumbai, 1975 in Kolkata and 1987 at New Delhi.

Considering the stiff competition for a place in the Indian team, at least two paddlers from the city are expected to make the grade, Tulpule said.

In view of the facilities being created, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and the MSTTA has planned a World Junior Circuit Tournament, to be held from September 11 to 14, Tulpule disclosed. The tournament is expected to attract 120 paddlers from 20 countries, offering a total prize money of US 15,000, Tulpule added. Over and above electronic scoreboards for each table, a giant video screen with replay facilities will be provided. The spacious hall will have a sitting capacity of 2000 persons, having 20 rooms for the players, technical delegates volunteers, officials and VIPs. The media lounge will have direct access to latest communication facilities including Wi-Fi connectivity to be provided at the venue, Tulpule said.

The championship gets underway on October 13 and will conclude on October 17, during which events for boys and girls singles and boys and girls doubles will be held. As per the competition schedule, a round of 64 in boys and girls singles matches will be held on knock out basis while the boys and girls doubles will be of round of 16 matches, he said.

The TTFI, in order to garner maximum medals, have already set the ball rolling having six coaching camps and six international tournaments during April to October. A one month coaching camp will be held in China in August followed by a month long final camp to be held in Pune has been planned from second of September till the commencement of CYG, he said.

The TTFI, the governing body which came into being in 1938, has 30 affiliated units with more than 52,000 registered players, he added.

UNI

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