The Sun International 2016 World Junior Table Tennis Championships (WJTTC), “the world’s premiere under 18 event”, is currently underway at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World. The tournament kicked off on Wednesday, November 30, with the Team events Stage 1, and is set to conclude on Wednesday, December 7, with the Singles SF and singles and doubles finals, starting at 10am on the day.
All in all, 192 players total – 96 men and 96 women – from 37 countries are participating, with the action taking place on 12 tables. Competition is expected to be fierce, with the world’s best juniors having battled it out on the ITTF Junior Circuit all year.
There are seven gold medals on offer in Cape Town: boy’s teams, girl’s teams, boy’s singles, girl’s singles, boy’s doubles, girl’s doubles, and mixed doubles. To be eligible, the players must be born in 1998 or later.
20 teams have entered the boys and girls competition, with a maximum of four players per team.
Each continent has their own qualification competition to determine which team takes the relevant quotas:
Africa – 3 Boys’ Teams, 3 Girls’ Teams
Asia – 5 Boys’ Teams, 5 Girls’ Teams
Europe – 5 Boys’ Teams, 5 Girls’ Teams
Pan America – 4 Boys’ Teams, 4 Girls’ Teams
Oceania – 2 Boys’ Teams, 2 Girls’ Teams
In addition to these 19 teams, the Host Association (South Africa) is entitled to one team in each of the boys’ and girls’ team events.
It is the second time that the World Junior Table Tennis Championship is being held in Africa, and the first time in South Africa. This year’s tournament is the 14th edition.