by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Three events are staged in the table tennis competition in the Youth Olympic Games: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles and Team event.
Following the six continental qualification tournaments staged in 2017, a total of 14 boys and 14 girls have reserved their places in the Argentine capital city for next October; all have received National Olympic Committee confirmation. Four boys and four girls from Asia as well as from Europe gained places, as did two boys and two girls from Africa and also from Latin America; for each of North America and Oceania it was one boy and one girl.
A total of 32 places for boys and the same number for girls is the full quota; the task is now to fill the remaining positions. In each gender one spot is reserved for the host nation; thus 17 places for boys, the same for girls remain.
One in each continent, six “Road to Buenos Aires 2018 Series” tournaments will be staged either prior or following ITTF World Junior Circuit events. Each tournament will be staged over two days, on each day a knock–out event will be held. The respective winners of each event will qualify for the Games, two boys and two girls from each tournament, overall 12 boys and 12 girls.
The Road to Buenos Aires Series:
- Europe: Hodonin, Czech Republic – Mon 12th February & Tuesday 13th February
- Africa: Rades, Tunisia – Sat 24th March & Sunday 25th March
- Latin America: Asunción, Paraguay – Saturday 14th April & Sunday 15th April
- Asia: Bangkok, Thailand – Monday 7th May & Tuesday 8 May
- North America: Markham, Canada – Friday 1st June & Saturday 2 June
- Oceania: Rarotonga, Cook Islands – Fri 8th June & Saturday 9th June
Thus five places remain for each gender. The top three players on the Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings and the top three girls on the Under 18 Girls’ World Rankings, current for July 2018, providing not already qualified by either succeeding in the Continental Qualification tournaments or the Road to Buenos Aires 2018 Series, gain places.
A total of 30 places for each gender determined; the remaining two spots for boys and two for girls are Universality Places. They are decided by the Tripartite Commission and are intended for National Olympic Committees who have a small number of athletes competing in the Games.
At the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, as in previous editions, each National Olympic Committee may only be represented by a one boy and one girl. Also players competing in Buenos Aires must have been born between Saturday 1st January 2000 and Wednesday 31st December 2003.