The gambling tables of the Las Vegas casinos might be the main attraction in the entertainment capital of the world, but it will the table tennis tables which will be the focus of the world’s veteran players the next week.
From June 18, Las Vegas will host the 19th World Veterans’ Table Tennis Championships – the biggest veteran sporting event in the world.
There will be more than 4,000 competitors from nearly 100 countries participating in singles and doubles in 11 age categories from 40 year old to Over-90.
Nearly 200 British veterans, many of them regular participants on the popular Veterans English Table Tennis Society (VETTS) circuit in England, will line up next to international legends including Hungarian Istvan Jonyer (Over-65s); Swedish 1991 World Champion, Jorgen Persson (Over-50s); Danish star Allan Bentsen (Over-50s); Chinese and Austrian legend, Chen Weixing; and German team coach and former world doubles champion, Jorg Rosskopf.
Several VETTS National Champions, including Lorestas Trumpauskas and Keith Williams, and current world champions Pam Butcher (O/85) and Betty Bird (O/80), will be there, alongside many former internationals and local league players from around the world.
John Hilton, President of the VETTS said: “I recently attended the VETTS National Championships and, having witnessed the high standards of our more senior players, I have no doubt that many of our players will bring back medals from these World Championships.
“Table tennis can be enjoyed by everyone of all ages – and that will be clearly demonstrated by the high-class performances from my friends and colleagues in Las Vegas. These championships will bring together the best in the world in age categories from 40 to over-90, and it’s wonderful to see that we are competing among them.
“I look forward to following the progress of our players – and hearing about their experiences – on and off the table.”
Sandra Deaton, Chairman of Table Tennis England, said: “I want to wish all our veteran players good luck and good fortune as they take on the best in the world at the World Veterans’ Championships in Las Vegas.
“We often say that table tennis is a ‘sport for all, for life’, and never is it more clearly demonstrated than in an arena such as this. I know that while there will be fierce competition on the table, there is also time for long-standing international friendships to be renewed, and new ones made.
“I hope all our players have a wonderful, memorable time – and I have no doubt that we will be bringing back a collection of medals.”