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(ADELUP) – The world’s best cadet table tennis players, coaches, and referees along with International Table Tennis Federation officials have arrived on Guam for the start of the 2012 World Cadet Challenge. The tournament begins Tuesday with opening ceremonies beginning 9 a.m. at the University of Guam Field House.
The players have been practicing since Saturday and continue their practices at the Field House – the official venue for the competitions – through today.
Gov. Eddie Calvo and first lady Christine Calvo hosted the officials, players and participants at a dinner at Government House Saturday night. The global contingent was given the royal treatment, with a spread of local delicacies, entertainment, and Chamorro hospitality.
“We’re here for you, to help you experience the hospitality our people are known for,” Gov. Calvo told his guests. “You’ve traveled a long way to be here and you have a long and exciting tournament ahead. So, tonight, we wanted you to celebrate our global union of friendship under this roof, under the tropical stars, with delicious food and fun entertainment.”
First lady Calvo told them, “You are our guests, and that means we will do whatever it takes to bring the best of Guam to you. So, your time here won’t just be for competition. You are also here to celebrate. Tonight we feast. In the coming days you will all enjoy the camaraderie of the tournament. And you will have a chance to see our beautiful island.”
Joining the governor and the first lady at the head table were ITTF Executive Vice President Petra Sorling, ITTF Deputy Chief Executive Officer Glen Tepper, ITTF Executive Director of Education and Training Mikael Andersson, ITTF Deputy Executive Director of Education and Training Polona Cehovin, and ITTF Competition Director Raul Calin.
Players and coaches from 34 countries represented their regional teams: Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, World Hopes, Oceania, and host Guam. The athletic ambassadors, tired from their long travel to Guam, were upbeat and the reception was full of life. The governor and first lady ended the evening by presenting gifts to everyone.
The team competitions begin immediately after the opening ceremonies.