Bids open for Continental Para ChampionshipsPhoto: ITTF
Enthralling competition, bids for the 2019 Continental Para Championships are now open. All are major events in their own right, the top step of the podium is a proud moment in the life of an athlete in whatever discipline may be in question.
However, in 2019 there is an added bonus, a step to a higher level, the highest of all, the event that is revered above all others.
It from these tournaments that the first slots in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games will be decided. Notably the gold medallist in each class in each continental tournament gains automatic entry to the prestigious quadrennial event.
The continents in question are Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania; there is no request for applications from Pan America; the 2019 Para Pan American Games to be staged in Lima next year in late August will provide the qualification for Tokyo.
Increasingly the level of play in Para table tennis is higher and higher, of that fact I have no doubt.
Equally, after watching play for only a short period of time, you forget about the disability a player may possess, you become enthralled with the play, the intensity of the competition, the desire to win. You are focused on a table tennis match.
Para competitions are now broadcast more and more; the modern day media of streaming events is growing. Likewise social media is enthralled.
It is an opportunity to promote your city.
2019 Continental Bid Document: European Para Championships