Monday, August 10, 2009

Nationwide Table Tennis Competition 2009

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

A total of 90 table tennis players including 32 female players from 11 table tennis associations have attended the nationwide table tennis competition for five days, started on July 28 to August 1, 2009 at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh.

The nationwide table tennis competition was organized by the Cambodia Table Tennis Federation (CTTF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS).

Sun Sothearith, Secretary-General of CTTF, said that his federation has been organizing this nationwide table tennis competition since 1982 to promote people’s health and sport in Cambodia. He said the main purpose of the competition was to select the best table tennis players or most capable players to representing the country for the year of 2009.

We support people to play table tennis so that they can have good health which can contribute to the human resources development and progress of Cambodia, and especially to prepare for future international competitions, said Sothearith.

“It is the 27th years that the CTTF has organized the competition in Cambodia. This year’s competition has an increased in the number of young people who are under the age of 18years old. They have also improved their playing skills and techniques in competition,” he said during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on July 29.

Relating to the competitions, the Secretary-General said that there are three competing subjects including group competition, individual competition, and peer competition.

Sothearith said that the competition has divided into two categories in which the first category is “A1” competition which is for those whose ages are over 19; and the second type is for “A2” which is for those whose ages are under 15.

CTTF planed to send seven Cambodian selected table tennis players, four male and three female, to the Nanning International Table Tennis Invitational Tournament during the China-ASEAN Expo 2009 from October 24th to 25th in China, according to Sothearith. He said CTTF also planned to send them for the 25th SEA Games Competition which will take place by the end of December 2009 in Vientiane, Laos.

Sothearith said CTTF also plans to host the 16th Southeast Asia Junior Table Tennis Championship in Cambodia, with over ten countries participated in mid-June 2010.

For the final round of the competitions, those who first place in championship will receive gold medal and other value prizes, second place winners will receive silver medal, and third place winners will receive the bronze medal with other prizes. All medals and prizes are provided by the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport.

Soeun Tola, 11, a table tennis player from BSC Table Tennis Association in Phnom Penh, attended the competition. Tola said that he has been training for two years with Mr. Hneat Sacha, an experienced coach in Phnom Penh. He added that he attended the nationwide table tennis competition and won a bronze medal in 2008.

“I am happy with my abilities and it is also the second time for me to attend it. With my hard training and preparation, I hope that I will able to win another medal from the association this year,” he told Southeast Asia Weekly.

Taing Hao, 15, another table tennis player, from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Table Tennis Association in Phnom Penh, has also attended the competition. Hao said he has been training for four years and has also attended eight national and international tournaments. He added that as result, he has won six medals total with three medals being from nationwide table tennis competitions in Cambodia, a gold medal in 2006, a bronze medal in 2007, and a gold medal in 2008.

“I hope that with my hard training and previous playing experience, I will win another medal from this year’s competition,” he said.

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