by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Progress from a continent where development is a key word, there are also new names on the Blue Badge list from the two traditional strongholds of the sport.
Four new names appear from Asia; China’s Mu Chunlei and Cao Ben now possess the highest accolade as does Japan’s Yumiko Morikawa and Korea’s Kim Youngyu.
Similarly from Europe, the Slovak Republic’s Marian Bystrican and Russia’s Evgeniy Chikishev are added to the list.
The newly qualified officials means that the total number of Blue Badge umpires is now 255 worldwide. Additional to Latin America, Asia with 103 such umpires has greatest number with Europe having 98 such personnel.
Next on the list is Africa with 19 in number, followed by North America who have 16 such umpires registered and Oceania with five in total.
Meanwhile in terms of national associations, Japan is the most prominent with 27 Blue Badge umpires.
Also with 22 such officials, China is high on the list as is Germany with 21 in total.
Further down the list but also in double figures, there are 13 Blue Badge umpires from India, 12 from Egypt, 11 from Korea Republic and 10 from the United States.
September 2016: List of Blue Badge Umpires