Council Chair, World Table Tennis (WTT), Liu Guoliang, has said staging more WTT events in Africa would produce more stars like Quadri Aruna on the continent.
Speaking during a webinar held specifically for ITTF Family members located in Africa on Wednesday July 8 with 28 member associations attending the webinar including the Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), who through its President, Khaled El-Salhy expressed their full support for WTT.
Significantly, the webinar was attended by Liu Guoliang (who is also President of the Chinese Table Tennis Association) and WTT Board Member, Khalil Al-Mohannadi (also ITTF Deputy President and Qatar Table Tennis Association President) with the aim to better educate and fully integrate the region within WTT’s plans.
In his remarks, Guoliang, a former World and Olympic Champion said: “I believe everyone already knows that WTT is an exciting, large-scale project and many table tennis stakeholders have been preparing for this moment for a long time. Our future goal is to develop table tennis as one of the world’s leading sports. Table tennis should not only create more star players and fans, but also feature the most exciting events. Players and fans are at the core of WTT. We hope that, through future WTT events, Africa will have more stars like Quadri Aruna.”
He added: “In future, WTT will pay more attention to its collaborations with Africa. More than a month ago, at the WTT China forum, Aruna was very concerned about the qualifications of players to WTT events and also asked whether we could host WTT Grand Smash events in Africa. I want to say that these points are all within the scope of WTT’s planning. What we have to do in the future is to allow more people to participate in and to be aware of international table tennis events in order to enhance the influence of table tennis worldwide.”
The African continent is looking forward to playing its part in the success of World Table Tennis (WTT), the new commercial and events business of the ITTF, launching in 2021, which sets out to elevate table tennis to new heights by applying a fresh approach to the way the sport is run and presented.
Khalil Al-Mohannadi added: “It is an honour to represent the ITTF Executive Committee on the WTT Board and be able to make good use of my past experience to help push table tennis to the next level. I am confident that WTT will be the key to the global growth of table tennis to make it one of the leading sports in the world, particularly in Africa.”
ATTF President underlined ATTF’s support for WTT. “It’s really important that Africa has more detailed information about WTT thanks to this webinar. We are so keen to learn and understand much more about this project, so that we can gain all the possible benefits from WTT in the future. This will provide a boost to all our top players as well as support the promotion of table tennis across the African continent,” El-Salhy said.
Khaled El-Salhy, alongside ITTF Executive Vice President Dr Alaa Meshref, were part of the webinar, which featured educational presentations held by ITTF CEO & WTT Director Steve Dainton, ITTF Marketing Director & WTT Director Matt Pound, ITTF Secretary General Raul Calin and WTT Event Strategy Director Stephen Duckitt.
There are plans to organise a webinar for the players, who are at the core of everything that WTT stands for.