Luxembourg Plays Host to World Table Tennis Development and European Championships
Luxembourg is playing a pivotal role in world table tennis this summer, hosting the 2017 ITTF World Hopes Week & Challenge from 11-17 August, and also organizing the Liebherr 2017 European Table Tennis Championships between 13-17 September
At the 9th edition of the World Hopes Week & Challenge earlier last week, young talents from 22 nations around the world enjoyed expert coaching and competition through an ITTF agreement with the China Table Tennis College-Europe (CTTC-E) alongside support from Butterfly and the Foundation for Global Sports Development. Double Olympic Women's Singles Champion and former world number one, ZHANG Yining, led the world class coaching staff through the week.
The week began with a ranking tournament that allowed the prestigious China Table Tennis College Coaching team, in charge of the training program, to have a global overview of the players' level and build two training groups for both male and female players according to their level.
This was the final event before the all-important World Cadet Challenge, to be held in Fiji in October, and it saw athletes aim to establish their position on the Hopes Team, to be composed of four girls and four boys that will be selected following this event and will play against the world's best under-15 players at the 2017 World Cadet Challenge.
Thomas WEIKERT, ITTF President, commented on the importance of developing the sport's future stars as well as delivering high quality elite events, "It has been an exciting week for these young players, a chance for them to learn from the best. I'm sure they won't forget being coached by ZHANG Yining. It is also an opportunity for them to practice and learn from others, understand other cultures, and to make friends through table tennis. Luxembourg has done a first-class job hosting this week, and we look forward to coming back for the European Championships starting on 13th September when Europe's best senior players will battle out for team glory. It is important for the ITTF to link our development work and professional events, something we are doing with our partners here in Luxembourg."
The Luxembourg Minister of Sports, Mr. Romain SCHNEIDER, also highlighted the importance of developing future table tennis stars, "Luxembourg is a capital for sports in the heart of Europe with many sporting organizations based here. It is a welcomed opportunity for Luxembourg to host the 2017 ITTF World Hopes Week & Challenge, and to present itself to the youth of the world. It is so important to develop our future stars and we are delighted to have the China Table Tennis College in Luxembourg to help. Everyone is now looking forward to the upcoming European Championships from September 13th to September 17th."
André HARTMAN, Luxembourg National Table Tennis Association President, added, "We are delighted to organize the ITTF World Hopes & Challenge in Luxembourg with great support from partners including the China Table Tennis College with its international training centre facilities. Luxembourg is by tradition a land of meeting and exchange. We are also very proud to organize the European Championships from the 13th to the 17th of September. Of course, this will be an historic event, and we are delighted to have the best European players here in Luxembourg. We are expecting to have many spectators, so we encourage table tennis fans to secure their tickets now so they don't miss out."
The Liebherr 2017 European Table Tennis Championships will be held in the Coque from 13th to 17th September.