The Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) has successfully secured sponsorship for their annual Gaborone Open Tournament, which will take place from tomorrow (Saturday) until Sunday at the Botswana College of Agriculture, from 08.00 on both days.
The Easter Special tournament will have joint sponsorship from Master Joinery and Aluminium, Rate One, Ribery and Vision Sports.
Though sponsoring companies have not yet disclosed how much will each contribute, information reaching Voice Sport suggests that BTTA are aiming to raise P20 000 for the tournament to be used for prizes, trophies and medals for participants.
The exciting tournament will be open to any table tennis club, individual or interested party of any age or nationality. Juniors and seniors can compete in singles, doubles and mixed doubles events.
BTTA expects over 200 participants from across Botswana and neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Teams of the following Associations are also eligible to participate in the tournament: BOPRISA, BISA, BOBSA, BOTESSA, PASSOBO, and Special Olympics.
The system of play for the Gaborone open tournament will be the group round-robin followed by single knock-out system.
The ITTF rules will apply as it is a critical competition to prepare both the Junior National Team for the 2nd Africa Youth Games (Gaborone 2014) the Senior National Team for one of the highest competitions in the table tennis structure, the World Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo, Japan from the 26th April to the 8th May 2014.
According to the BTTA publicity secretary Lelentle Mokhupuki they are heavily investing resources into the national teams that will be participating in the AYG and world championships so that by the time the games commence they will be in better shape and able to handle the pressure of the bigger stages.
“This promises to be a bigger and better tournament, as players have improved immensely and anything can happen this weekend.
Players want to improve their rankings and make the cut into the national teams that will be going for continental and world championships,” she noted.
Mokhupuki added that as the senior teams will be taking part at the World Table Tennis Championships, there is no doubt that this weekend’s club championships will be very eye-catching and a marvel to watch.
Most players are expected to come from such clubs as the formidable Smash Maniacs, BDF, Nhabe, Dithubaruba, New Horizon, Kanye and Kings of Smash Table Tennis Clubs.
In the last BTTA open tournament in January national team stars, Joseph Kgatlampane and Tshepiso Rebatenne put up outstanding performances winning three medals each, at a tournament which was held at Babusi hall in Gaborone.
The duo went on to win the doubles in their respective categories before continuing their dominance when they combined in the mixed doubles.