Roland Berg (left) with Alaor Azevedo (right) in Santos
Photo By: Mauricio Val
GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour, Brazil Open
Yet again, as it has been throughout the current century, Tibhar is the equipment sponsor for a tournament being staged in Brazil; they are the equipment suppliers for the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Brazil Open.
Present to watch the action in the Santos Arena on Saturday 16th June was Roland Berg, the Managing Director of the German based company.
He had made the long journey from Saarbrucken to be in Santos and in the city, famous for its football club that in 2012 celebrates its one hundredth anniversary, he was delighted with what he saw.
“The hall is a good size and there’s a good atmosphere in the hall”, said Roland Berg. “There is a family atmosphere and the crowd has responded, they have added to the atmosphere.”
It is a view with which I must concur, having now attended tournaments in Brazil for over five years the atmosphere in the Santos Arena is better than any previous venue used in the South American country. The crowd has grown and they have become engrossed in the action.
Distance from Airport
The only downside is that Santos is two hours from the international airport in Guarulhos on the outskirts of Sao Paulo.
It is a similar situation the English Open when staged in Sheffield which is some 90 minutes from the international airports in Birmingham or Manchester.
Furthermore, for the forthcoming London Olympic Games, the Athletes’ Village is a similar distance in time from either London Gatwick or London Heathrow.
“I think everything is improving and I think we made a major step forward when in 2008 when we were the equipment suppliers for the World Veteran Championships”, continued Roland Berg. “We shipped 120 table tennis tables to Rio de Janeiro; for us it was a major event.”
Rio de Janeiro 2016
On that occasion the World Veteran Championships were staged in Barra da Tijuca which is about one hour from the centre of Rio de Janeiro.
It was also the venue for the Pan American Games in 2007 and it will be the home for the table tennis events at the forthcoming 2016 Olympic Games; in addition it will be the area of the city in where the Olympic village will be located.
“Looking ahead to the Olympic Games in 2016 we are very pleased to continue our agreement with Brazil and support the development of table tennis in schools”, added Roland Berg. “The Games is a wonderful opportunity to promote table tennis, it opens new doors, massive potential.”
Clearly a very good relationship has been established between Brazil and Tibhar.
“There is a high level of trust, we have total confidence in each other; there is good personal relationship with Alaor Azevedo the President of the Brazilian Table Tennis Confederation; both sides make proposals, both sides are satisfied with the current agreement”, concluded Roland Berg. “Also, Brazil is moving forward; they are sending players to Europe, they are very active internationally and they improving not only in the way they present tournaments but also in the level of their play.”
Notably Hugo Calderano and Eric Jouti currently occupy the top two places on the ITTF Junior Circuit Boys’ Standings; whilst Caroline Kumahara is prominent on the Girls’ list and will be on duty at the London Olympics.
Success breeds success, clearly in Brazil a major contributor to the current success and as 2016 looms ever closer, new horizons are in sight; heights that will be scaled, climbed by Tibhar, climbed by Brazil but most importantly by Tibhar and Brazil together.
The fifth rock album released by Dire Straits was Brothers in Arms; Tibhar and Brazil are Brothers in Arms but not in Dire Straits.