Table tennis federation urges attention to goals

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Table tennis federation president Kirth Chantharith speaks at the closing event of the table tennis training course on August 31. CHHORN NORN

The Cambodia Table Tennis Federation (CTTF) has urged all technical officers, referees, coaches and other stakeholders to work together to achieve at least one of the two major goals set on the journey to the 32nd SEA Games in 2023.

CTTF president Kirth Chantharith, who is also head of the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration, said CTTF has two important goals – to organise table tennis competition as the host and to strengthen the ability of Cambodian athletes to clinch medals for the nation.

He said hosting the competition is a goal that must be achieved.

“As hosts of the 2023 SEA Games, if we could achieve both goals, it would be best. Otherwise, we must succeed at hosting the event,” he said.

Chantharith was speaking at a recent closing ceremony of the 2022 International Table Tennis Technical Training Course for National Referees by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC).

“The ability of our athletes is still limited compared to those from some other countries, but we can prepare to achieve our goal as hosts and we have to try to achieve as high of a level as possible in terms of security, order, safety, technology and other characteristics.

“Whether or not we can achieve medal wins, we must succeed at the other one. Failures in both goals would be really bad because Cambodia is the host,” he said.

CTTF secretary-general Sun Sothearith said an international training course was held from August 27-31 in 2022, with 35 trainees who learned how to be referees under the instruction of Rachel DL Ramos, a veteran International Refereeing Judge of the International Table Tennis Federation.

Sothearith added that the training was conducted in accordance with the federation’s annual action plan and with the support of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to accelerate the development plan of the National Sports Federation as we head towards the 2023 SEA Games.

After the training programme, nine highly qualified national referees will be selected to take the International Umpire Examination on September 23.

According to Chantharith, the International Table Tennis Technical Training Course was an additional course of instruction for nine national referees who were preparing to take the International Umpire Examination already. Assuming they passed, they will participate in officiating when Cambodia hosts the games.

“I encourage these nine Cambodian referees to do their best on the upcoming September 23 exam to become international referees as passing the exam is an honour not only for themselves but also for the CTTF and our nation,” he said.

“As Cambodia prepares to host the SEA Games, I hope we will continue to develop officiating skills and these candidates will gain more knowledge in order to get good results when organising all of these events. If not the best results, for sure we can still help them do better,” said Rachel DL Ramos.