by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Asia, now with a total 115 Blue Badge umpires, provides the greatest number of new names; China, Chinese Taipei, India, Korea and Malaysia increase the list.
Gu Xinyi, Li Yonghua, Cai Rong, Ran Qiming and Zhu Ling are the new Chinese representatives; the addition means that China now has 28 Blue Badge Umpires, more than any other national association.
Notably, Mahendra Singh Kshetrimayum and Amit Singh are the newly qualified Indian officials with Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hu-Chan, Korea’s Kim Miji and Malaysia’s Lim Eo Koon completing the recently approved Asian names.
The inclusion of Mahendra Singh Kshetrimayum and Amit Singh means that India now has 19 Blue Badge umpires; two more than Japan. Other than China, only Germany has more than India, 20 in number and very much thanks to Christophe Geiger.
One of five from Europe, he keeps Germany in second spot. Likewise, the addition of Claude Reackelboom moves France into double figures, whilst with Anna Rozhkova gaining the precious award, the number for Russia increases to 13 in total; the same as Korea following the inclusion of Kim Miji.
Belgium’s Didier Tourneur and Poland’s Rafal Zlezarczyk complete the new names from the old continent to make the European number 104 overall.
Asia and Europe, the traditional powerhouses of the sport, provide the largest numbers, both in terms of newly qualified and the overall numbers. However, both Africa, for whom Egypt leads the way with 11 Blue Badge Umpires, and North America are represented.
Francis Frimpong, currently studying in China, becomes Ghana’s one and only Blue Badge Umpire; Linda Leaf adds to the number qualified in the United States. The country now has ten such qualified officials, thus joining the national associations in double figures.
In total Africa now has 20 such officials; North America numbers 17 with the complement being 13 in Latin America and five in Oceania.
Overall there are now 274 Blue Badge Umpires.
ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee: Blue Badge Umpires (Thursday 13th July)