by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interviews: Olalekan Okusan)
All teams were present in their national colours with Patrick Gillmann, ITTF Executive Vice President and Joe Carrim, the President of the South African Table Tennis Board, addressing those present.
Notably the South Africa Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports was represented; also in attendance was Glenn Tepper, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the International Table Tennis Federation alongside Olabanji Oladapo, the Vice President, Administration, of the ITTF-African Table Tennis Federation.
“I must thank the Organising Committee and the South African Table Tennis Board for their efforts to stage this championship, particularly in such a wonderful venue and city of Cape Town. I am pleased to be part of this championship and I hope all players and teams will enjoy the tournament in Cape Town and South Africa”, Patrick Gillmann
All officials urged those who present to enjoy the region; geographically one of the most picturesque in the world.
“To the players, we are delighted to have you in Cape Town; we recognise your potential and the quality you possess. We are so excited of the love you have for the sport and just like late Nelson Mandela used to say, “Sports change lives” we hope that you can change the outlook of the sports by affecting lives positively with your gift as your roles change lives”, Joe Carrim
Equally, for table tennis in South Africa, the tournament is major opportunity to promote the sport in what is a country that has produced golfers, cricketer and rugby players who rate amongst the best in the world.
“Hosting this competition is a stepping stone to becoming a major player in the sport and with this kind of environment in which the competition is taking place; we believe we can profile table tennis to the whole world. I thank the Organising Committee the and our dedicated volunteers who have taken their valuable time to be part of this great success”, Joe Carrim
A most convivial atmosphere with a special item on the agenda meeting the approval of all, Raees Adams a young South African artist, proved a most popular singer.