Table Tennis Association hopes to arrange Estonian-Finnish league ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Table tennis.
Table tennis. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

On Thursday, the board of the Estonian Table Tennis Association (ELTL) gave a green light to arrange a united women's table tennis league between Estonia and Finland.

Vallot Vainula, head coach of the Estonian national table tennis team has been up to his neck in paperwork because competitions have been delayed.

Vainula said: "The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) initially canceled all competitions until the end of May, then the end of June and then the end of July. Some competitions in September have also been delayed. There have been some competitions around the world, but they have been local. The federation announced the Junior Championships planned for August will most likely be canceled because Norway, Sweden and Denmark can't make it. The number of participants is shrinking so much that there's no point holding the championships."

The ITTF European Individual Championships in Poland are still thought to be taking place and the ELTL spoke about the national team's roster on Thursday.

Vainula commented: "They (the European Individual Championships - ed.) are in the schedule but there is no confirmation at this point that they will actually take place. That's the magic of this situation, we have to be prepared for everything without any knowledge that anything will actually happen. We're slowly assembling the national team, trying to assign as many players as we can."

If the European Individual Championships end up being in doubt, there is hope that an Estonian-Finnish united league can be started in October or November, ideally with eight teams taking part. While there is a six-team league in Estonia, there is no such league in Finland.

Vainula said: "It's actually been discussed for many years. These are the pros and cons of small countries - we've had many Baltic leagues in different sports before. Finns have always been a great partner for Estonian table tennis. We've discussed this before, but it has always been stopped by minor details. I hope it will all work out this time. There is a women's league in Estonia but there aren't many teams, a lot of matches are meaningless. The best female players in Finland are pretty much equal to Estonians. We hope to reach an agreement and make it happen."

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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