World TT body keen to host world championships in India

New Delhi : The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), impressed by the successful hosting of the event at the Commonwealth Games, is keen to stage the world championships in India after 27 years.

India last hosted the world championships in 1987 in New Delhi at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.

`The facilities at the Yamuna Sports Complex (YSC) were better than the previous Games at Manchester and Melbourne. If India bids for the championships in 2014 we will be very much interested,` Neil Harwood, executive vice president, ITTF told to reporters .

The world championships for the next three years are scheduled to take place, respectively, in Rotterdam, Dortmund and Paris.

Harwood, who was a jury member in the recently concluded Delhi Games, said the standard of Indian table tennis has improved in the last few years and that makes their case for hosting the world event even more stronger.

`India is coming up nicely as a table tennis nation. Sharath (Kamal) is doing well on the international scene. It would be great to conduct the world event here,` Harwood said.

But the ITTF vice president termed the current Games venue not big enough for conducting the event.

`The event was organised at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi last time and since the whole complex is renovated now, it could be a possible venue.`

Around 115 countries in men`s team and 85 countries in women`s team events participated in the Moscow World Championships earlier this year.

The officials in the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) are aware of the challenges that come in the way of holding the big event but said their morale is high after the smooth conduct of the Games.

`We are very keen to host the senior world event and as part of the bidding plan we will host the junior events awarded to us in the next two years,` said Dhanraj Choudhary, Secretary General, TTFI.

India will host the world cadet championships in Hyderabad in November and the junior Asian championships in 2011.

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