- KTTA will use a new qualification format
- There will be three phases of selection
- Kenya expects to send a team to the Olympics
The Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA) has outlined an all-new qualification format to be used as a yardstick to ascertain national team players to represent the Country at major international events.
KTTA Secretary General Fahd Daim in a statement announced that the trials to select both the Senior and Junior national team players will be executed in three phases.
To set the ball rolling, the initial branch qualification stage (where players will be required to register as members) will be held on the weekend of 28th January 2024.
Fahd also revealed that the national trials- involving qualifiers from KTTA Branches- will be held in Nairobi from 2nd to 4th February where the top 10 Men and top 10 Ladies plus top 10 Juniors in Boys and Girls categories will make the national team pool for the period 2024 to the next trials.
“Players who make it to the National team pool, will be required to practice regularly to be able to keep their respective positions. This is definitely a game changer that will truly render the process more exciting and competitive. Being in the national pool does not necessarily mean business as usual, as players will strive to maintain top form through and through,” Fahd expounded.
Fahd continued: “Depending on the registration for the trials, matches will be played in two stages, with the first stage being the group stage and the second stage also being a round robin format of the group leaders, so that the branch ranking is done on merit.”
Table Tennis to conduct national trials
“The top two Men and two Ladies including under 12 years junior Boys and junior Girls at branch level will qualify for the next stage, which is the national trials,” Fahd continued.
Fahd , a multiple former Kenya champion, added that branch draws for groups will be held for the first stage and the winner and runners up, qualify to play the winners and runners up in the other groups.
Fahd also noted that national trials’ draws for groups will be held for the first stage and the winner and runners up, qualify to play the winners and runners up in the other groups.
“Every month, the players in the national team pool, will be playing against each other in a round robin training event to determine positions for the month and subsequently, the round robin ranking will be used to select the national team that will be representing the Country in international events,”. Fahd said.
According to the new format, only one wildcard may be given by the Association and the policy of having juniors in the national team, will continue to assist in the transition of senior players.”
Junior players to also follow new format
The Junior players selection will also follow the same format and coaches who handle the players will agree on a monthly training program.
Fahd also noted that the ITTF Rules and Regulations will be applied throughout the trials.
Among leading players expected to grace the trials include Brian Mutua who is expected to jet back into the Country from overseas training in Denmark under the Olympic Solidarity training program Others are computer scientist Josiah Wandera and university student Lisa Wele.