Forrest Gump was good at it, the Chinese love it and now there’re enough Belizeans into it that a big-time table tennis championship is coming to Belize for the very first time.
Regular readers know that we love to report on all things Belizean, especially anything to do with the environment, responsible travel, arts, culture and music, and sports fans appreciate that we also keep an ear to the ground for athletic news.
So it was with interest that we heard that Belize will be hosting the 15th Central American Table Tennis Masters Championships, which will run from September 13 to 16 2013.
This is the first time the Jewel has had the honour, and it is significant because the Central American Table Tennis Confederations are adding a new category to the championship, according to 7 News Belize.
Speaking to Channel 7, – Belize Table Tennis Association president Arturo “Tux” Vasquez explained that “It’s a first for Belize, it’s the 15th of course and it’s all the Central American countries, masters or veterans and it’s a tournament that will be played between 5 categories, starting with 30-39, 40-49, 60-64, 65-70 and 70 and above.”
Mr Vasquez said that all individual matches will be played within their specific age categories, but that, for the first time in Belize and indeed for the first time in this long running table tennis series, a team tournament is being introduced, “A team will be the same players playing within the same category as team members – two to a team,” he explained.
Pretty exciting stuff.
This year 23 players will be competing, and Mr Vasquez, a true veteran of the sport, is optimistic about Belize’s chances.
“I played in 2009 in the El Salvador and I did pretty well in my age group. At the time I was under 50 and I did fairly well but I can tell you the 40-49 then which is now 50-59 is the toughest group – they have about 3 to 4 Central American champions that were Central American champions for several times. It’s still amazing that these guys are very active, in my opinion, but now we will have participation in all groups so there’s a possibility that we may be strong in some of these groups.”
There you go – one more chance for Belize to shine in another sports arena.
It’s been a big year in sports, with the Belize Jaguars making it to the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament for the first time ever, and now Belize hosting the Central American Table Tennis Masters Championships for the first time.
It’s also noteworthy that, as 15th Central American Table Tennis Masters Championships will run from September 13 to 16, they’ll be held at the start of the famous Belize holiday season, right between St George Caye Day and the wildly enthusiastic Belize Independence Day celebrations on 21 September, so fans can look forward to an even more vibrant tournament that usual.
All in all, it’s one more great activity to add to your September celebrations planner, and we’re guessing it will be a great event that will bring new life to the sport.
If we were on China’s national team, we’d be paying close attention to Belize, and we’d be worried.
Stay tuned sports fans…