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London Olympics Table Tennis qualifiers preps unveiled


By Feverpitch reporter

Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA) will use the monthly points earning series to select and prepare players for London 2012 Olympics qualifiers.

The Association hopes to send a team of three men and two women to the final Olympics qualification tournament in Doha, Qatar, from May 10 to 13.

To set the ball rolling, the first points-earning tournament will run in Thika County in early February followed by the tour of Nyanza a fortnight later.

Points accrued last season will be carried forward to the 2012 season.

KTTA Secretary Andrew Mudibo said the association is keen on popularising the sport at the grassroots.

"We plan to polarise the sport at county level which is why we intend incorporate school and colleges into our system and subsequently make them affiliate associations of the KTTA," Mudibo said.

The first qualifiers for table tennis for Africa were during the 2011 All Africa Games held in Maputo, Mozambique. During the Africa qualifiers, Kenyan players did not qualify for London Olympic Games.

Fahd Daim and Sejal Chandarana posted good results as they missed the Africa qualification slots when they were eliminated in the quarter-final stages of the qualification tournament.

To ensure that Kenyans get the best exposure before the Olympics Qualifiers next year, KTTA has plans to secure the services of a coach from China for a period of two months (March and April), which will be before the final Olympics qualifiers.

"We will get a coach from China because this is the leading nation in table tennis. We want the NOCK to approve our proposal to enable the coach to carry out training where the rounds will be held since all top players will be in attendance.

During the 1987 All Africa Games held in Nairobi, the KTTA through the help of the Government utilised the services of a Chinese coach who was seconded to train our players and created a big impact which lifted the local standards.

The coach set in motion an everlasting foundation that has since seen Kenya make progress in the development of table tennis," Mudibo said.

Meanwhile, KTTA has selected Nairobi-based journalist Samson Ateka to be the Team Manager of the table tennis team that will be traveling for the final Olympic Qualifiers in Doha, Qatar from May 10-13.

Ateka, who is also a committee member of the KTTA, will be in charge of the team’s preparations in the run up to the Qatar tournament.

His appointment has been accepted by the Management Committee that met for the first time on Wednesday to lay down strategies for the Olympic Games preparations and qualifiers.

Ateka is a seasoned journmalist previosly with The Standard Group and now with The Star newspaper

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