By Ian Marshall
Para table tennis is no exception, with the key date set for Wednesday, August 25, the first day of play of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Making sure that before the first ball is hit in anger at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, having all qualifying procedures completed weeks in advance is now a matter of priority.
The situation in many countries of the world is still uncertain; As a result, the TBEN and the International Paralympic Committee have agreed to postpone the World Qualifying Tournament, which will take place at the Tri Lilije Sports Hall in Lasko, Slovenia, from Saturday April 3 to Saturday June 5.
Likewise, the bipartisan application process has been extended until Friday, April 9.
Slovenia is the center of attention as the Para calendar for the year is detailed; From Saturday May 29 to Tuesday June 1, the venue will host the Slovenia Para Open, an event that the Tri Lilije Sports Hall has hosted most successfully over the past 15 years.
Thus, players will not be faced with a tournament as critical as the global qualifying event when they return to action but will be able to participate in an international event which will take place in the same room, in the same environment and with the same accommodation available. .
Interest is naturally high, but the enthusiasm is not limited to Tokyo.
Many local organizing committees have expressed their intention to host events in 2021, a potential of 17 open international tournaments as well as the form of the Paralympic Games and an intense schedule. It’s a situation that Pablo Pérez, the ITTF Para Table Tennis Events and Classification Manager clearly pleases, but with words of caution.
“Among the local organizing committees, we are happy to see that France will host an event in November with the idea of gaining experience before Paris 2024. We are very excited about this but keeping in mind mind that the ITTF competition department is constantly monitoring the pandemic situation around the world. In the event of a severe incidence of the virus in a specific country or area, the schedule can be changed, the dates changed or, if necessary, even canceled. “Pablo Perez
Amendments may still be necessary, but there is clearly an atmosphere of adaptation, of search for solutions, of looking to the future; as we say: “where there is a will, there is a means”, never more true, never more the required attitude.
• Table tennis calendar for 2021
• World Paralympic Qualifying Tournament
• Qualification guide for the Paralympic Games