Table tennis stars await Commonwealth Games decision

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TEAM JERSEY’S Commonwealth Games chief is optimistic that the Island will be represented in the table tennis competition at Birmingham 2022, despite a selection policy that is set to limit entries.

The Commonwealth Games Association of Jersey currently has four athletes from the sport on their pathway – but their hopes may be hindered because table tennis is one of the few sports on which Games participation is based on rankings.

There are 64 places available for table tennis at this year’s event, which is due to be held from 28 July to 8 August, but, as it stands, none of Jersey’s top players would make the cut.

Jordan Wykes is currently the only player out of the four Caesareans with a world ranking [789] and CGAJ president Paul du Feu says the situation has become ‘a bit of a farce’. He argues that the rankings system is ‘flawed’ due to the lack of tournaments taking place in recent months.

Last week, Jersey Table Tennis Association president Paul Routier confirmed that they hope to convince organisers to allow each jurisdiction to select entrants, rather than entries being offered by invitation only.

‘We will fight our corner and I think these athletes deserve all we can give them, in any way we can give it to them,’ said du Feu. ‘I feel confident that we’re right up there and, the more I think about it, we must be in with a chance of getting this one sorted.

‘Because of Covid and the shutdown of competitions, the whole thing has become, in my opinion – and I’ve expressed my opinion quite strongly – a bit of farce.

‘Everybody’s very aware of our strength of feeling and at the last Commonwealth Games Federation meeting just before Christmas, Guernsey said “we have to agree with Paul, for once. If these were our athletes, we would want them at the Commonwealth Games”.

‘If it’s all done on rankings, it’s a system that is flawed because rankings have been nigh impossible to keep up to date.’

More in Wednesday’s JEP

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