More than 50 members of the VETTS (Veterans Engish Table Tennis Society) have headed to New Zealand to compete in the 14th World Veterans Championship in Auckland (May 12-17, 2014).
They join about 1,600 other players from nearly 60 countries who will compete on 61 table in singles and doubles in age categories from 40 years upwards during the five days of competitions.
The World Veterans Championships which are held every two years have become a showcase for the senior talent in the sport, attracting many famous international names as well as club, league, county and national players from around the world who meet in an environment of competition and friendship.
The opening ceremony on the eve of the events has the emphasis on friendship and fun, particuarly this year in New Zealand, where the Maori’s famous Haka, led to a challenge and welcome thrown down to their international guests and accepted by the sportsmen and women, including England’s No 1 Veteran women, Sue Collier.
In the last World Championship’s in Sweden in 2012 England’s Geof Bax won a gold medal in the O/80s class and Betty Bird, an Australian resident but former England no. 2, also took gold in the women’s O/75s after staging a remarkable come-back from 10-2 and match points down.
Among the famous names appearing in Auckland will be Sweden’s European champion, 44 year old Peter Karlsson, who will play in the 40-49 men’s category.
Paul Stimpson (12th May 2014)