Keinath to Lead Unique WVC Florida Training Camp in June

By Richard Finn | April 10, 2018, 8:58 p.m. (ET)

The World Veterans Championships (WVC) is no child’s play.

To be eligible for the biennial spectacle you have to be 40 years or older.  More than 4,000 participants from a record 91 countries are entered to play in Las Vegas, June 18-24. It is the first WVC in the United States since 1990 in Baltimore. The event promises to be of an unimaginable scale and one not to be forgotten.

Preparing for the WVC is no child’s play either, for those attending a special training camp hosted by 2009 and 2011 U.S. Open champion Thomas Keinath.  Keinath is one of the big drawcard names in the 2018 WVC, along with other top Europeans like legend's Jorgen Persson and Erik Lindh, along with Georg Bohm and Dimitrij Mazunov, all appearing in the event. 

Thomas has represented Slovakia on the international stage for many years and still competes in the league in Germany, he is as fierce a competitor as ever, despite battling hearing loss. Keinath last year was the champion of the Summer Deaflympics and, in a sport where the subtle sound differences of the ball can have such a huge impact, has fought incredibly hard to continue competing at the highest levels. 

Just recently he competed in the Bundesliga and defeated former German National Champion Steffen Mengel to help his team to victory, an amazing result. With his two US Open titles and wealth of experience heading into WVC, who better to lead a training camp in a destination as wonderful as Florida.

The three-day camp June 10-13 will be hosted at the Broward Table Tennis Club in Davie, Florida - recently a spectacular host to the Youth National Ranking Tournament and Training Camp. A dozen or so participants are expected according to Keinath both from the U.S. and from his native Germany.

“The camp is here because for a long time I have had a nice friendship with the owner of the club,” said Keinath. “And I have many friends in Florida. And it is one of my favorite places in the world.

“This is my third trainings camp in USA,” said Keinath. “My aim is in the camp is that players improve their game and come home with some new skills. We will practice hard but we will have fun and enjoy it.”

There are two practice sessions of around two hours scheduled and some fitness training as well.  Practice sessions will cover all aspects of the game according to Keinath.  Focus will include   -different sticking techniques, impact, strategy and tactics, multi-ball training and of course competitive practice matches.

“The camp is for every age,” explained Keinath. “Table tennis is a sport for every age. And the camp should be a good preparation for the VWC and the Florida Open tournament some days later in at the Broward Table Tennis Club.”

Among those who will be preparing for the WVC is Keinath himself. Turning 40 later this year, the former top 100 ranked player in the world is playing his first WVC this year. 

“I will practice hard,” said Keinath, who will likely be seeded No. 1 in the tournament the 40-45 men's singles.” So of course my aim is to win.”

No doubt he will put on a great show for spectators in Las Vegas and put his best foot forward!