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Table tennis federation continues to grow sport

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by Dave Delgado

Guam - Oceania Development Officer Scott Houston is back on island meeting with our local federation members for table tennis. Houston is helping organize the island's first International Juniors Tournament. The event is scheduled for next year April with the hopes of possibly getting the tournament televised.

Houston told KUAM Sports, "Part of my role is helping all of the table tennis playing nations of the Pacific and Oceania to help with their development. The reason why I'm in Guam at the moment is next Easter time April 19th through the 25th there is going to be the first time Guam will hold an International Junior Competition, which will be the Guam Global Junior Circuit Event. It will be like a pro tour event but will for junior players so it's an historic occasion because like I said it would be the first time that Guam has hosted an event and it's also the first time that an international competition has come to the Micronesia. We are expecting about 250 to 300 athletes will attend from 15 to 20 different countries."

The competition will be for players ages 15 and under and 18 under with tryouts for the event scheduled for the early part of next year. This is the first sport to have 100 percent of country and territories take part in an event with the 24 active national associations joining in.

Houston added, "As part of the competition every player has a chance to increase their world ranking obviously by winning matches. Then they will get more points and their world ranking will increase. Also like I said it is part of the Global Junior Circuit so at the end of each year the Global Junior Circuit has a Grand Final Series so the people that have the highest points at the end of the year can compete in the Grand Finals Series, so by competing in Guam they will have a chance at winning some more points and hopefully increase their standings."

The Guam Table Tennis Federation has made steps in securing the growth of the sport here on island by recently donating tables to some of the island's schools. The sport has seen players as young as 8 and as old as 73 enjoy some playing time. If you would like to get involved in the sport you can contact Guam Table Tennis Federation President James Ji at 688-4585 or Narci at 688-0571.

"After these games a lot of people interested in and we will be looking forward to the 2011 New Caledonia," added Federation president James Hi.  "We will try to send and then 2012 Olympics, we will send to athletes in London. Our goal is to makes some medals."

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