Mrs. Marisol Espineira Jimenez, President of the Peru Table Tennis Federation, very much at the helm of proceedings, reflects on what proved a most successful endeavour.
She spoke to Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Member Relations Media Officer.
Why do you think the tournament was so well received by all who attended?
As a federation, we worked together in a most harmonious and co-ordinated manner. We supported the efforts of the local organising committee in such areas as production, communications and logistics as well as making sure we presented a good image.
We had experience of hosting international events, thus the work flowed well. Most importantly we gained knowledge as to how to work at an event of this level; overall, it meant the outcome was a successful tournament.
What has been the overall effect of the tournament on table tennis in Peru?
The impact has been huge, very positive for the future of our sport. It demonstrated our organisational ability, we are somewhat pioneers in this region of South America.
Local people had the opportunity to see world class table tennis, to watch star names for the first time.
How important is a World Table Tennis tournament for players in Peru?
Many of our players cannot travel abroad; thus, by hosting World Table Tennis and similar events, they can both watch and compete in high level tournaments.
It helps our players develop. They can watch high-level table tennis as well as compete. In this respect it is helping the development of our players. In the longer term such tournaments will encourage more young people to play table tennis.
How popular is table tennis in Peru?
In Peru, large numbers play table tennis, there are many fans of the sport. We have many national level tournaments; when we organise international events there is a great deal of enthusiasm. Everyone welcomes foreign players with open arms.
Our association has about 35 affiliated clubs, which actively participate in events throughout Peru, gaining points in order to qualify for the various events held at the National Championships. In addition, we have several young athletes from various provinces of the country who attend the Videna High Performance Centre in Lima. Later this year we will have an ITTF Hopes Week.
What are your aspirations for Peru?
In the short term we aim to host WTT Youth Contender and the WTT Contender events in 2023. We are planning to apply to host the World Youth Championships and South American Championships; this year in November we will host the first ITTF Pan American Championships Masters.
As a country we have an unrivalled infrastructure in the region, a very professional, responsible, passionate and committed work team. We work together so that each international event is successful.