by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Over 4,000 players and in excess of 1,000 accompanying guests have registered for a tournament that first saw the light of day in 1982 when some 400 players competed in the west coast Swedish city of Gothenburg.
The numbers are quite staggering; already the number of countries competing exceeds that of two years ago in Alicante / Elche on Spain’s Costa Blanca when 82 countries competed, representing no less than a record 4,510 players.
To date 552 players from the United States have registered, the number far exceeding that of previous World Veteran Championships; never before has the United States entry exceeded 100 players!
Next in line in terms of entries at the moment is Germany with 505 players, followed by China, Japan and India. Currently 327 entries have been received from China, 255 from Japan and 241 from India.
Notably the most senior female player is Japan’s Yaeko Chiba; born on Sunday 8th August 1926, she is 91 years old; for the men it is the host nation’s Si Wasserman, born on Sunday 16th April 1922, he will be 96 years of age when the tournament takes place.
Currently the most subscribed age group for men is the 60 years to 64 years category with 435 players, for women the 55 years to 59 years class with 165 players.