World table tennis stars head to London for Olympic test event

·         London 2012 organisers test operations at International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)  Pro Tour Grand Finals

·         Tickets still available for many sessions

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Pro Tour Grand Finals will bring some of the world’s best players to London whilst at the same time doubling up as a test event for London 2012. The event which takes place from 24-27 November at ExCeL London sees Olympic Gold medallists and World Champions battle it out for the $365,000 prize money.Top players at the event include the Chinese athletes Zhang Jike and Ding Ning, winners of both singles events at the World Championships and the World Cup. Also featuring in the competition are the men’s singles Olympic gold medallists Ma Lin from China who won gold in 2008 and Ryu Seung Min from Korea who was Olympic champion at Athens in 2004. For Great Britain, Paul Drinkhall and Joanna Parker line up in the singles competition, whilst in the women’s doubles Parker will be joined by Kelly Sibley. The men’s doubles team will see in-form Liam Pitchford pair up with Andrew Baggaley.

London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) is testing key operations at the event including field of play, sports equipment, technology and workforce.  Debbie Jevans, Director of Sport at LOCOG said of the event: “We have worked hard with the ITTF and English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) to bring this high profile event to London.  The excellent sporting competition will provide fantastic action and will ensure that our operations are fully tested.”  Judit Farago Chief Executive and Competitions Executive Director, ITTF said: “We are delighted that as a result of the cooperation between LOCOG, the ETTA and ITTF, one of our biggest events is serving as a test event for London 2012. 

 “The ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals is always the yearly highlight of the professional tour, but this time both the motivation and the interest from the players is higher than usual with the attraction of competing in what will be an Olympic venue next year. The standard of player is world class and it is the perfect time to bring back top international table tennis to London.”

Tickets for the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals start at £10.

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Notes to editors:

International Table Tennis Federation

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is responsible for the global sport of table tennis. It is the second largest international federation in the world with 215 member nations.  Table Tennis is both an Olympic and Paralympic Sport. It was introduced at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and has been a Paralympic sport since the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960. Table Tennis is known as one of the most democratic sports on the planet and boasts high levels of life-long participation from every demographic. It is also one of the most cerebral sports; the medical profession often uses it for patients recovering from strokes etc. to stimulate the brain, and aid movement and coordination.

English Table Tennis Association

The English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) is the governing body of table tennis in England, responsible for representing, coordinating, administering, marketing and developing the sport.


 As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners – adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-eight domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield.  There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Supplier, Otto Bock. The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.