Detailed, meticulous planning is the key to the success of any event, the World Championships is no exception; in fact it is a prime example.
Over 800 players have registered to compete in the World Championships to be staged in Rotterdam from Sunday 8th to Sunday 15th May 2011. Add to that number: coaches, officials, guests and a massive logistical exercise is the order of proceedings.
Furthermore, there is an added ingredient; on the last three days of competition the Dutch Para Table Tennis Open Championships, a Factor 40 tournament for ranking purposes, will be staged.
Play in the World Championships necessitates two halls in the Ahoy Arena; for the first four days both halls will be needed, then for the last four just one hall.
The Dutch Para Table Tennis Open Championships will be staged in the hall not used for the World Championships during the last three days.
Furthermore, the same team of Referees and Umpires will be officiating in both events, a daunting task but the team is ready!
"Any tournament depends on the co-operation between all responsible persons", explained Austria's Werner Thury, the Referee for the World Championships. "A vital piece of the puzzle is the Referee's team and the job of a referee does not start only after the Opening Ceremony has concluded!"
Certainly not for the World Championships!
Quality Depends on Preparation
"Most of the work has to be done weeks and sometimes months before; the quality of the performance during the tournament depends on the preparation and work completed before the event", continued Werner Thury. "Taking this into account Bertus Schotmeijer as Home Referee and myself started work last year."
Work started during the Liebherr Austrian Open in October 2010.
"Recently I was in Rotterdam, visiting the venue and to strengthen contacts with the whole Organising Committee", continued Werner Thury. "After an inspection of the venue a meeting with Match Sport Media Solutions was held, the company who will be involved in technical matters and the promotion of the world Championships."
Ten hours of meetings took place, involving Ton van Happen (Tournament Director), Igor Heller (European Table Tennis Union), Bertus Schotmeijer (Home Referee) and Werner Thury (Referee); proceedings over, it was time for sightseeing.
A visit to Euromast, one of Rotterdam's major landmarks, was organised.
"The organising committee with Ton van Happen as Tournament Director is doing an excellent job", said Werner Thury. "It is a great honour to work with such a professional team; Bertus Schotmeijer as the Home Referee has already prepared the basis for perfect co-operation with the Organising Committee."
Certainly there is a formula for success in place.
"We as a team will do our best to give not only the players but also the umpires the chance to perform at their highest possible level", concluded Werner Thury. "The Ahoy Sports Centre is one of the best venues in the world for such an important event."
Superb venue and led by Werner Thury, a top class team of officials to ensure the goal we all desire, the best World Championships ever.
Photo courtesy of Werner Thury, article by: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor