Bhubaneswar: In a bid to bring renewed focus on Table Tennis, Odisha Government’s Sports & Youth Services (S&YS) Department signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and Odisha State Table Tennis Association (OSTTA) today for hosting the upcoming 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis (TT) Championships.
The MoU covered various obligations for the official conduct of the international event.
Odisha S&YS Commissioner-cum-Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev signed the MoU with TTFI Senior Vice-President S. N. Sultan and OSTTA President L.N. Gupta in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and S&YS Minister Tusharkanti Behera.
Officials from all the three organising bodies were also present on the special occasion.
Gracing the MoU signing ceremony, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “Today’s MoU signing for hosting the 21st edition of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in Cuttack is an important step for us in promoting sports and especially Table Tennis in the state. I congratulate TT Federation of India and the Odisha State TT Association for partnering with our Government in hosting this prestigious event. I hope this event will bring renewed focus on Table Tennis, in which India has been performing well in recent times. I extend my best wishes to the participating teams.”
Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera, said, “This championship will see participation from some of the best players from across the globe. Indian players have displayed unprecedented performance at the Asiad and Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the upcoming Championships will be exciting for all to watch. We look forward to welcoming the team and its officials to Odisha.”
Later in his media reactions, Odisha Sports Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev said, “Our Hon’ble Chief Minister’s vision is that Odisha should be the No 1 in our country in the sports sector. In that context, this event will a milestone. We have successfully organized Asian Hockey Championship, Hockey World League, World Cup and so on. We are continuing the tradition. We hope we will be again maintaining the global standard.”
“We have made all the arrangements for their accommodation as we have already booked good hotels. Security will also be provided,” he informed.
Commending the Odisha Government, ITTF Director and TTFI Advisor Dhanraj Choudhary said, “Odisha, with its finest sports infrastructure and expertise has a global recognition today for hosting international sporting events of repute. We are thankful to the State Government for organizing the six-day Commonwealth Table Tennis championships. We are confident participants and spectators will leave with a positive experience.”
OSTTA President L.N. Gupta said, “Odisha TT team is ranked 10 in the country and an international Table Tennis event in the home state is very encouraging for our players. They will get to witness great games, skills and tactics which they can observe and leverage in their individual performance. We are thankful to the State Government for taking a lead to promoting the sport.”
The Championships has received a good entry with 14 associates. Most of the top Commonwealth countries are participating.
The list of the entry is as follows:
1. India 2. Singapore 3. Malaysia 4. Bangladesh 5. Sri Lanka 6. England 7. Scotland 8. Wales 9. Jersey 10. Australia 11. Cyprus 12. South Africa 13. Nigeria 14. Pakistan
Notably, the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis (TT) Championships will be held from July 17th to July 22nd in Cuttack city, well-known as the millennium city-cum-old capital city of Odisha, while Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium has been slated as the venue for such an international event.