Ivan Santos makes the Puerto Rican Open Tag Team Championship a reality at the Convention Center | Aharon

when Evan Santos He played table tennis back in the 80s, as he always dreamed with his wife and also a former player Leticia Castaldoheld a huge table tennis event in Puerto Rico where hundreds of players hit the small ball on nearly 100 tables around a wide area.

At the time, it was just a dream. But about ten years ago, when the sport began to boost with international victories, I realized that the possibility existed and that Puerto Rico Convention Center It was the perfect place to hold this kind of event.

Today’s Chief Puerto Rican Table Tennis Association FPTM can claim to have fulfilled this dream The upcoming celebration of the Puerto Rico Open Teams Tournament, which will take place from 8-10 April, is in San Juan.

“I dreamed about this with my wife and I always told her, ‘One day we will do the Puerto Rican Open. ‘It’s like your dream,’ said Santos, ‘the culmination of holding an event of this magnitude.’ speaker.

And so it will be. More than 300 competitors and more than 80 registered teams spread across nearly 100 tables will be active in the first edition of the USATT-sanctioned event that will award points for ranking tournaments in the United States.

This is the first time that USATT has held a competition of this scale outside of the United States.

Elite athletes from the FPTM National Program will be present, such as Adriana Díaz, Melanie Díaz, Brian Afanador, Daniel González, Anngel Naranjo, Daniely Ríos and junior Stephen Joel Moreno and Enrique Yezue Torres.

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However, this tournament will only be a prelude to something more comprehensive Santos is considering. One of the reasons for organizing this event is that it eventually generates funds to strengthen the management of the FEMA and give more resources to the development of athletes, especially in the children’s and trainee categories.

“I want to leave a legacy and that is to make this tournament a source of funding for the management of the union. When I leave, whoever comes after me does not go through the ups and downs that we went through in the sense that we have no paid management. Here the key to our success was our great group of volunteers, which was the strength of the union in All aspects. But I always say that the key to all of this is good management. If it is solid, you will get results, as with our athletes. Because attention and resources are directed towards them so that they perform well, “explained the director.

For this first edition, Japanese uniforms and racket brand Butterfly will be the main sponsor of the event, contributing nearly $250,000 to the assembly of 100 tables, fences and sports equipment.

In addition, the Department of Recreation and Sports (DRD) will support the venue with a contribution of approximately $75,000; The Puerto Rican Olympic Committee (COPOR) will make a separate donation.

Santos highlighted the collaboration of Rodrigo Maces, the former president of the Association of Industrialists of Puerto Rico, who sponsored the FPTM.

“This event provides a different and stimulating option, and it also has an important part that contributes to the economic aspect of the country. This is the first, and it causes us some difficulty, but I have no doubt that over time we will institutionalize this event and we will do it every year.

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“I hope that in the third or fourth year we will close registrations before the deadline because there is no room. I am sure that we, with this desire that we put into it, will fulfill it,” Santos said.

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