by Ian Marshall, Editor
The Latin American Table Tennis Union comprises three regions: Caribbean, Central America and South America, add North America and the equation equals Pan America.
In each of the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events at the Pan American Championships there are quotas. Two teams are eligible from North America, three from Central America, three from the Caribbean and three from South America. In addition in each event, two teams from the most recent Latin American Championships and two from the World Team Ranking for August 2018 plus the host nation qualify.
Such is the list, for whatever reason some teams may decide not to compete; however, the leading outfits are all present in Santiago.
Furthermore, each association is entitled to a maximum of four men and four women throughout; doubles partnerships must be from the same association.
Now the next stage, qualification for the 2019 Pan American Games; in each of the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events in Lima, three players per team, a total of 12 teams will be present, 36 players plus for each of the individual competitions there are six further places men and the same for women available. Thus overall 42 men and 42 women will be on duty.
At the 2018 Pan American Championships, the outfits finishing in the top six positions in each of the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events will qualify for the 2019 Pan American Games. In addition, in each event, one place is allocated to each of the four regions – Caribbean, Central America, South America, North America – who do not gain a top six finish in Santiago.
The selection is courtesy of the regional championships held in the period Saturday 1st December 2018 to Tuesday 30th April 2019; should no regional championships be staged, the best team according to world ranking, taking into account the top 20 Pan American teams on the list, will be invited.
Thus two further places remain, one is allocated to the highest listed outfit on the May 2019 World Team Ranking that has not already qualified and to the host nation which is Peru.
Teams decided, the National Olympic Committees who have qualified, must then confirm the names of the three players who will compete in each of the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events at the 2019 Pan American Games plus, from those three names, the two players for each of the Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles events must be nominated. Doubles partnerships must be from the same National Olympic Committee.
A qualifying tournament for the 2019 Pan American Games will be held in May 2019 to determine the six places for each gender in the individual events for players who have not qualified through the team system.
One more step; tradition dictates that win the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles titles at the Pan American Games and another qualification is gained, a place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The qualification journey has started; in Santiago it intensifies.