The first ever professionalised tour for the international veteran table tennis community is officially under way in Shenzhen (China) running from Thursday 8th – Sunday 11th August.
This forms the first of five events to take place on the 2019 ITTF World Veterans Tour, with subsequent stops scheduled for Townsville (Australia), Fort Lauderdale (United States), Doha (Qatar) and Cardiff (Wales).
Over the next four days, the Honghuashan Sports Center in the Guangming District of Shenzhen will be a hive of activity, fun and mass participation, as 225 players from across the world get stuck into a jam-packed programme.
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States are all represented in what is set to be a vibrant festival of sport!
Better With Age
The #BetterWithAge tagline, which has engaged a growing participant pool on social media, stands to reason.
With players spanning over five decades between the ages of 40 and 80+, the ITTF World Veterans Tour provides competition categories for seven different age groups in the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles playing categories.
Additional age groups have been set up in the men’s singles (40-59, 60-69, 70+) and women’s singles (40-59, 70-80, 60-80+).
“I am very happy to be here. It is a rare opportunity for me to compete with other +80 year-olds. The final result does not matter. What matters is to meet new friends through table tennis.” Min Qiheng (above)
“This is my first time here in Shenzhen and I can feel how much China has developed and is making progress. Table tennis is a very good sport for older people. It is really good for our health.” Lily Yip, former USATT board member, vice president, Olympian & Olympic Coach.
There are two added ingredients which will jazz up proceedings in Shenzhen and beyond:
First of all, players will be battling it out for World Ranking points, adding extra spice to the competition! Click here to find out more.
Then there is also the “Champion of Champions”: in each event in the men’s singles and women’s singles competitions, the winners qualify for the “Champion of Champions” tournament, whereby play is straight knock-out as opposed to a group phase, followed by knock-out as in the age group events.
Looking ahead to 2039!
It may be a little way off yet, but we also thought it would be fun to predict who could be taking part in the World Veterans Tour in 20 years’ time! Click here to find out who we think could be the leading candidates in 2039.
The final day of action, on Sunday 11th August, will be streamed live on itTV.
Meanwhile, stay up to date with all results from Shenzhen right here!