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Member Associations - 4 Mar 2011

British Table Tennis confirmed for London 2012 Olympics


04/03/2011 – The British Olympic Association (BOA) today confirmed that Team GB will utilise three male and three female Host Nation Qualification Places in order to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games table tennis competition. The decision was

04/03/2011 – The British Olympic Association (BOA) today confirmed that Team GB will utilise three male and three female Host Nation Qualification Places in order to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games table tennis competition. The decision was made following detailed consultation with the British Table Tennis Federation (BTTF).

BOA Chief Executive and Team GB Chef de Mission Andy HUNT said: We are very pleased to confirm that Team GB will be represented in both the singles and team table tennis events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The British Table Tennis Federation has demonstrated to us that they have laid solid foundations to maximise the opportunity of competing at a Home Games and developed programmes to ensure a strong long term legacy for the sport”.

British Table Tennis has proven to us that the young squad of players are capable of delivering a credible performance on the field of play in 2012. In winning the silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, England’s men finished above three nations who competed in the last Olympic Games in Beijing. Real progress is being made in elite performance; there are now four British players – two male, two female – ranked in the top 200 in the world compared with none prior to the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Table tennis is a very accessible and affordable sport for people of all ages from all backgrounds. This combined with the ‘London 2012 factor’ and the successful programme of innovative initiatives developed by the British Table Tennis Federation to get people involved with table tennis at grass roots level promises to have a big impact on participation and leave a tangible legacy for the sport.

I’m delighted that the British players competing for this weekend’s National Championships in Sheffield will now have the firm goal of competing on home soil in London 2012 to aim towards.

Alex MURDOCH, British Table Tennis Federation Chairman said: On behalf of the British Table Tennis Federation I am delighted that our players will be represented at the London 2012 Olympic Games. This endorses the significant progress made across the UK by our sport from schools to grass roots to the elite level. This will be a great opportunity to showcase our home grown talent on a truly international stage and further influence the table tennis legacy.

Hosting the Olympics will be a great British achievement, it is a chance for Britain and London to present itself to the world and I am delighted that our table tennis players will get to do the same.

Paul DRINKHALL (Sheffield), GB men’s table tennis number one said: My ultimate dream has always been to be an Olympic medallist and to have the chance to compete in my home country is better than any dream. As a team we have made good progress in recent years and we will aim to produce our best performances to excite the home fans at London 2012.

NA Liu (Northern Ireland), Team GB women’s table tennis hopeful said: It has always been my dream to play in the Olympic Games and this has given me the drive and ambition to put 110% into achieving this goal. Competing at the Olympics will be the pinnacle of my career.

Darius KNIGHT (London), Team GB men’s table tennis hopeful said: Playing in the Olympics means everything to me. Competing in front of the home crowd is an opportunity that will never come again. It’s a chance to put table tennis on the map in this country. Everyone at one stage has played table tennis or knows of it. It’s a great sport because it can be played anywhere, you don’t need lots of money, and your size, age, race, religion or ability doesn’t matter. It’s a sport made for everyone to enjoy.

(English Table Tennis Association Press Release)

Photo: Paul DRINKHALL (courtesy ITTF)

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