The Olympic Year

The year 2012 is the subject of much debate. Whether it is the movie ‘2012’ or the Maya Calendar’s predictions, both of which unfortunately leave the world in catastrophic circumstance. On the other hand, in terms of Table Tennis there is clearly only one thing in the minds of the professionals, and that’s the London Olympic games. For spectators the Olympic year began on the 1st of January, however for those involved in the preparation there have been years of preparation to get the games ready for this July/August. The Athletes will have trained hard with their coaches years in advance to be at their optimal standard in order to compete for those much wanted gold medals. The hosts start 7 years in advance on the very day they are awarded the hosting rights, and that is not including the work and efforts put in before being granted the honor of hosting the Olympics.

Over the last 12 months, we have seen a record number of ITTF competitions. We have also seen an increase in the development of the ITTF with a lot more special events and meetings; all of which have enriched the ITTF and strengthened its position as an international sport. The most notable advancement has been the live coverage of 27 ITTF events, which has generated a record number of viewers for the sport.

Is Team GB ready for the games?

British players are winning more ITTF matches and events than ever before,but their funding has been cut by a substantialamount. For the 2012 Olympics, the British table tennis team found their funding slashed by more than 50% since 2009 to £1.2 million. The funding cuts have left many players financially stranded but others have found ways to secure the highly necessary funding. Kelly Sibley has recently announced her sponsorship with gambling firm OLBG. Whilst the likes of Darius Knight and Paul Drinkhall have had to move abroad in order to get closer to where they play their club matches enabling them to cut travel expenses.

All the doom and gloom of cuts and Maya theories aside; ADPP believes that this Olympics will be one of the most successful that Great British Table Tennis has ever seen. Globally, GB have become much more competitive and this was shown at the Olympic test event at the London Excel arena for the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals.

Competitions in 2012

It is great to see how far this great sport has come from its origins in the late 19th century, when it started out as an after-dinner game played by upper-class English families. More than a century later, Table Tennis is a breathtaking spectacle that blends power, speed, skill and subtlety – no wonder it’s the biggest participation sport in the world. Expect on display a great deal of prowess, subtlety and lightning-fast reflexes on display at the ExCeL in the London 2012 Olympic Games Table Tennis competition.

2012 will be a very full year with many great events. For starters we will have the World Team Championships, the Senior and Junior World Cup and Championships, the $1,000,000 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals and of course the Olympic Games.
2012 sees a slight change from the previous ITTF Pro Tour format. There is a much bigger prize fund available at the end of year Grand Finals. The winners of the men’s finals will receive a lump sum of $1,000,000 – up from $365,000 in 2011. The winners of the women’s singles titles each receive $104,000 – the highest available in the sport of table tennis.

The 2012 main tour has 15 International Open Tournaments, starting with the Hungarian Open in Budapest in January and finishing with the Polish Open in Warsaw in November. However a Euro-Africa Satellite Circuit has also been added for 2012 (and there are plans to introduce similar satellite circuits for the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region in 2013). There will be more Table Tennis on this years calendar than there has been in any other year previously with overseas leagues having their exposure increased through more TV opportunities.

With the 2012 Olympics being hosted in London we have the perfect opportunity to show the spectators just how great the sport of Table tennis really is and with a strong GB team we can help raise the profile of this sport in order to get the funding to not only just compete in the Olympics but take home those gold medals. 2012 will be one of the biggest years for the sport of Table Tennis and ADPP are proud to be a part of its development.



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