8 countries have confirmed their participation at next week's Southeast Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship which the country will be hosting.
Hosts Brunei will join Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam at the 20th edition of the tournament set to run from June 16-21 at the Indoor Stadium at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.
"Eight countries have registered for the tournament but we have not heard anything from Cambodia and Myanmar yet," said BATTA General Secretary Anthony Liew in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"Both the Indoor Stadium and Multipurpose Hall will be used for the tournament. The matches will be held at the Indoor Stadium while the Multipurpose Hall will be used by the players for warming up. "The preparations leading up to the tournament have been very good and I hope that everything will go as planned," added Liew.
The tournament will be divided into two categories: Under-15 and Under 18. Both categories will consists of boy's and girls' singles, boy's and girl's doubles and mixed doubles.
Clarence Chew of Singapore was crowned the champion of the boy's Under-18 category during the previous edition of the tournament held in Manila last year while his compatriot Lin Ye won the girl's Under-18 category.
Chew and Ye combined to win the mixed doubles Under-18 category after defeating fellow Singaporeans Yee Herng Hwee and Tan Kiat Yi Kerry in the final. According to Liew, Brunei's representatives at the tournament will be selected by the Brunei Darussalam Schools' Sports Council (MSSSBD).
A press conference for the tournament will be held at the Indoor Stadium tomorrow. BATTA organised an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Tournament Organisation Course (TOC) in March to prepare for the competition.
The six-day course was conducted by Chan Foong Keong, an ITTF Course Conductor and the secretary-general of the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia. BATTA also organised a number of Umpire and Referee Courses in order to ensure the tournament will be run smoothly.
"BATTA wrote to the ITTF and Asia Table Tennis Union (ATTU) l to organise this course in Brunei and it was approved earlier this year, (so) we are very happy to have the expert here to help us out," said Liew when the course kicked off.
BATTA are co-organising the Southeast Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Brunei also hosted the 2005 edition.