An ever more popular destination for international tournaments, Tunis is the home for the 2022 ITTF World Youth Table Tennis Championships, the Salle Omnisport de Radés being the home for eight days of action commencing on Sunday 4th December.
Once again, as one year ago in Vila Nova de Gaia, the full schedule if seven events appears in each of the under 19 and under 15 age groups.
The first three days involve the boys’ and girls’ team events, the remaining five days comprise the individual competitions.
Notably, it is no less than the sixth international tournament staged this year by the Tunisia Table Tennis Federation. WTT Youth Contender events were held in February and March, in July the ITTF African Youth Championships, followed in August by a WTT Contender event; later in October, it was the destination for the Arab Club Championships.
At the helm of proceedings is Lotfi Guerfel, the far-seeing President of the Tunisia Table Tennis Federation. Now, having also hosted three WTT tournaments in 2021, he has a wealth of experience in the field, confident that his colleagues will deliver.
“The level of preparation for the World Youth Championships in Tunis is excellent. We are confident that this tournament will be a successful event. Our team has accumulated great experience from hosting previous international events. We are keeping our eyes open; we are seeking new ideas that can enhance and boost our tournaments. At the same time, we are more than happy to share our experience with all table tennis stakeholders.” Lotfi Guerfel
Setting the example, Lotfi Guerfel has not only built a strong and reliable local organising team, in addition he has gained the trust of all concerned, especially local government and partners.
“Hosting all such major events couldn’t happen successfully without the support of the Ministry of Sports coupled with the trust of ITTF and WTT. Last but not least, we want to express our gratitude to all our international and local sponsors for their continuous support. They include Amen Bank, Kia Smedi-Orthomed, Mira Al-Buhaira, Tunis Air and Stag.” Lotfi Guerfel
Taking into account the predecessor, the ITTF World Junior Championships, it will be the fourth occasion when Africa has played host to the now well-established tournament. Cairo was the home in 2006, Rabat in 2013, Cape Town in 2016.
One wonders, will we see a Los Angeles 2028 or Brisbane 2032 Olympic gold medallist in action? It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility.
Ma Long won the boys’ singles title at the World Junior Championships in 2004, Ding Ning the girls’ singles one year later, more recently in 2011, Chen Meng completed the full house.