The Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) was abuzz with energy today as the first training session for the highly anticipated ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals 2023 kicked off. This historic event marks the return of table tennis to Africa after 84 years, and players and coaches are eager to showcase their skills and experience the vibrant culture of the continent.
Players from various nations will be descending upon the venue over the next few days, ready to hit the tables and fine-tune their game for the upcoming event which kicks off in 3 days. Among the players who were part of the first training session, was Truls Moregard.
The Swedish player said, “It seems to be a great hall and a great venue, so we’re very happy to be here to start our training. Everyone here in the Swedish team, we have some medals to try to defend, which will be very difficult, of course, but we are super excited and being in Africa and experiencing its rich culture adds a unique flavour to the competition. Personally, I am looking forward to all the top-level table tennis action from everyone and I am ready to give my best.”
The South African team, particularly proud to be hosting the World Championships on home soil, also were part of the first training session.
For Lailaa Edwards, this event is a dream come true. “It was a great first session today and it was truly special to be able to train and prepare for such a prestigious event in our own country. This will be a chance for us to showcase our skills in front of our fellow compatriots. For me, I’m also incredibly excited to play in front of our home support, and it is such a dream come true to be able to play the sport I love while representing my country and continent at the highest level. I am determined to give my all and make my nation proud.”
As the players delved into their training routines, coaches were seen guiding and fine-tuning their techniques, ensuring that they are fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The atmosphere was filled with a mix of determination, focus, and excitement, setting the stage for an unforgettable competition.
The ITTF World Championships Finals 2023 promises to be a landmark moment for the sport in Africa. With players and teams from around the world converging in Durban, the tournament will showcase the pinnacle of table tennis excellence and the stage is set for an incredible event that will leave a lasting impact on the table tennis community in Africa and beyond. Fans can look forward to witnessing awe-inspiring performances and witnessing history in the making.
With the first day of training underway, anticipation continues to build, and the world’s best table tennis players are ready to make their mark on African soil, vying for the coveted World Championships title and inspiring a new generation of players across the continent and beyond.