ITTF Astana Para Open 2024 commenced in Kazakh capital

ITTF Astana Para Open 2024 commenced in Kazakh capital
Photo credit: Kazinform

More than 150 athletes from 19 countries of the world gathered in the Kazakh capital today for the ITTF Astana Para Open 2024, for the first time ever being organized in Kazakhstan, Kazinform News Agency reports.

The ITTF Fa20 Astana Para Open 2024 is held among the athletes with musculo/skeletal and intellectual disabilities.

53 athletes are representing Kazakhstan at the event.

The winners of the tournament will receive rating scores to be able to contend in the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, says the country’s chief para table tennis coach Arnur Abishev.

ITTF Astana Para Open 2024 commenced in Kazakh capital
Photo credit: Kazinform

According to him, after the tournament, the team will leave for Italy, Spain and Poland. In May, the team will participate in the World Qualification Tournament  in Thailand. To secure a paralympic berth, the athletes need to improve their ratings, they should be ranked among Top-16 male and Top-11 female players.

"Today’s event features teams from Russia, China, Great Britain, Japan, France, Norway, Romania, Indonesia, and South Korea," said Arnur Abishev.

ITTF Astana Para Open 2024 commenced in Kazakh capital
Photo credit: Kazinform

Vice Minister of Tourism and Sport Serik Zharaspayev addressed the participants with a speech of welcome.

“Today’s tournament is of huge importance. Ahead are the Paralympic Games in Paris, which will take place in a few months. I believe that the winners of today's tournament will qualify for the Paralympics. I wish all the athletes good luck!” said he.

The tournament includes singles, doubles and mixed competitions. The youngest member of the Kazakh team is 15 years old, and the oldest one is 78.

The 2024 Astana Para Open tournament will be held from March 1 to 3.

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