Nineteen-year-old product of the JTTA’s prodigious Appleby Academy, Josh Band, returns to the ITTF World Tour on 2nd July where he will be competing at the US Open in Las Vegas. This is the first time that a player from Jersey has ever competed in the USA in this tournament.

He was very recently out of action for 6 weeks following major surgery after a weight loss of 9 stone [126 pounds] achieved solely by diet and even more hours of training than his average of 15 per week!

Band is competing in the Men’s and Under 21 Men’s Singles as per previous tournaments. Additionally however, he will on this occasion also be competing in the Mixed Doubles with England’s No.23 ranked Emma Torkington who has Jersey family connections and asked him to partner her in this discipline.

The tournament has attracted almost 950 competitors and is being held over five days (2nd-6th July) at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the two massive halls totaling 167,642 square feet!

Band said: ‘I got back to tournament play in the Senior Open Grand Prix at Medway a few weeks back and although my technique and movement were good my match fitness was rusty after the enforced lay off.

“However, since then I have been training really hard and putting in hours and hours at the Table Tennis Centre at FB Fields and also in the gym to regain my stamina and sharpness. I intend to be 100% ready for the US Open and am really looking forward to playing against some top quality opposition.”

He won’t be the only one travelling from the island as his father, Chris, will also be on duty in America: “We will be presenting a Jersey keepsake to the CEO of the USA Table Tennis Association and distributing tourism details about our Island to competitors from all parts of the world,” said JTTA President Chris Band. “We also hope to meet up with some players from New Jersey especially and form some cross Atlantic links and friendships,” added Band.