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World Table Tennis Champs to stay in Moscow despite bombings

2010-04-01 15:07 BJT

BEIJING, April 1 -- This year's World Table Tennis Championships will still be held in Moscow next month despite this week's terrorist attacks in the city, Adham Sharara, the president of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), said.

Suicide bombers at two Moscow subway stations killed 39 people and wounded more than 100 on Monday.

However, Sharara believes the city will successfully and safely stage the most important event on the sport's annual calendar, which will feature 16 teams competing for the men's and women's titles from May 23-30.

"If the attacks were happening in a particular area repeatedly then, of course, we would avoid the area. For example, if there were attacks in Moscow every three days, for sure, we would not go there," Sharara said on Tuesday.

"But before this (attack), it was four years ago. This will not stop us from going to Moscow for the World Championships," he said at the Volkswagen Cup table tennis challenge in Guangzhou.

"If we do that, then there may be another attack before the Track and Field World Championships or before some conference and the terrorists would get attention from the cancellation and would have succeeded. We have to show every terrorist group they cannot change the course of normal life."

Sharara is aware of the possibility some teams could withdraw from the event due to security concerns but remains determined to stage the tournament in Moscow.

"I know some member countries of the ITTF may be feeling uncomfortable and may decide not to go. It's up to them, but we trust the security system of Russia and that of the city of Moscow," he said.

Editor: Jin Lin | Source: Xinhua