Jörg Rosskopf on duty in Las Vegas (Photo: Christophe Neuville)
by Susie Hughes Deputy Chair of Table Tennis England and the VETTS
It is known as the entertainment capital of the world but from Monday 18th June, Las Vegas will turn into the planet’s table tennis metropolis as more than 4,000 players descend on the Nevada desert city.
Las Vegas will play host to the 19th World Veteran Championships, the biggest veteran sporting event in the world.
Table tennis players aged from 40 to over 90 years old will take part in singles and doubles events for both men and women in 11 age categories, five year bands, for the prize of being crowned World Champion.
All participants compete in group stages, with the first and second in each group progressing to the main event; the third and fourth places continuing to the consolation knock out.
Traditionally, the focus is on competition and friendship as players from almost 100 countries gather for a week’s intense competition combined with renewing old acquaintances and making new friends among the international table tennis family.
However, the relaxed atmosphere does not mask the intense rivalry and elite standard as some of the legendary names from the table tennis hall of fame compete for the titles.
Hungarian legend, Istvan Jonyer, has entered the Men’s Over 65 Singles. Swedish 1991 World Champion, Jörgen Persson is in the Over 50s, alongside Danish star Allan Bentsen. Persson will be partnering his Swedish international team mate Erik Lindh in the doubles. German National Team Coach and former World doubles Champion Jörg Rosskopf, is taking part in the Over 45s. He partners Austria’s Chen Weixing.
Moreover, it is very much down to earth. No matter how big a name, there are no short cuts as these legends and many other former internationals will take their place in the group stages alongside local league competitors.
Viva Las Vegas veterans!