20 Aug 2019

A visit to Japan earlier this year in June to attend the 2019 World Parkinson's Congress in Kyoto; that initiative has now borne fruit, a total of seven players, four men and three women from the Land of the Rising Sun will travel to New York to compete in the inaugural 2019 ITTF Parkinson’s World Championships.

Organised in liaison with ITTF Foundation, the tournament will be staged at the Westchester Club from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th October.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Furthermore, the 50 entry mark has now been reached, in addition to Japan and United States applications have been received from Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, India, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland.

To date a total of 12 countries and four continents in the guise of Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America are represented; now we await Africa and Oceania.

The closing date still some weeks away being Tuesday 10th September, current enquiries suggest that the number may well reach the 100 mark; if Nenad Bach, who is working morn, noon and night to promote the tournament, has one concern, it may be that laws of supply and demand will apply! He is concerned that more players than can be accepted may enroll.

Three events depending on impairment will be held in each of the men’s doubles and women’s doubles events, in addition to a men’s doubles and a women’s doubles competition.

Nenad Bach (back row second from left) with friends in Kyoto (Photo: courtesy of Nenad Bach)


A unique event; the tournament creates a situation that poses an intriguing scenario, especially when Japanese players are concerned. The four members of the men’s team are Hiromichi Kawai, Katsumi Hosoya, Kazunori Kyo and Naomichi Saito; for the women it is Asako Katagiri, Yurie Kato and Junko Saito. The delegation varies from players who have competed at a quite high level and have then contracted Parkinson’s to those who, like Nenad Bach, have taken to the sport as a result of contracting the diagnosis. In all other international tournaments, players are established competitors.

Naomichi Saito is tipped as a possible winner but he has problems walking; most of the time he uses a wheelchair but plays table tennis standing. Conversely, Katsumi Hosoya and Junko Saito are comparatively new to the sport.

A most intriguing tournament awaits and no doubt, Nenad Bach, who performed in 1995 with Pavarotti and Friends at a humanitarian concert for the children of Bosnia and Herzegovina, will entertain…………….


2019 Parkinson's World Championships Nenad Bach

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Day 3 - 2019 ITTF Parkinson's World Championships