Just a few days before the important European Qualifying match in Gateshead, England’s top two women will compete in Austria for their first ITTF World Tour event of 2013.

It could prove to be ideal preparation for both Joanna Parker and Kelly Sibley who have not been to a ITTF World Tour event since before the London 2012 Olympic Games. Parker’s most recent appearance was in the ITTF World TourĀ China Open last May while Sibley’s last bow was in Hungary exactly 12 months ago.

Both played in the European Championships in October but it will be a real test for the pair to see how they can start the new year before their match with Spain on January 29th.

Also heading to Austria will be a trio of Englishmen including current number 1 Paul Drinkhall. Drinkhall, like the two women, has not been on the international scene yet in 2013 – his last appearance came with a defeat to Koki Niwa in the ITTF World Tour German Open in November.

Although he did appear in Portsmouth to help England beat the Netherlands on November 20th, he will be focussing on a good return from Austria to maintain his top 100 world ranking which is under threat in 97th place.

Joining him will be Darius Knight and David McBeath. McBeath recently played at the ITTF World Tour Spanish Open while Knight will be looking to force his way back into the England team.

The full schedule has been listed below with table 1 & 2 matches available on itTV as usual. Times given in GMT.

ITTF World Tour Austrian Open (Wels, Jan 23-27th) Fixtures

Mens’ Singles Qualifying Groups:
Group 5:
Paul Drinkhall
Bojan Crepulja (SRB) Thursday 12:00
Espen Ronneberg (NOR) Wednesday 14:45

Group 20:
Simon Gauzy (FRA) Thursday 09:45
Darius Knight
Dominique Plattner (AUT) Wednesday 10:30

Group 29:
Vasily Lakeev (RUS) Wednesday 16:15
Jan Zibrat (SLO) Wednesday 11:10
David McBeath

Womens’ Singles Qualifying Groups:
Group 6:
Oxana Fadeeva (RUS) Wednesday 12:30
Kelly Sibley
Li Fen (SWE) Thursday 14:15 (table 2)

Group 18:
Joanna Parker
Linda Creemers (NED) Wednesday 14:00
Anastasia Koltsova (RUS) Wednesday 09:50
Petra Petek (CRO) Thursday 12:45

Mens’ Doubles Qualifying Round:
Paul Drinkhall/Darius Knight vs Enzo Angles/Antoine Hachard (FRA) Thursday 17:30 (table 1)
– winner vs Hao Shuai/Zhang Jike (CHN) Thursday 19:00

David McBeath/Gavin Rumgay (SCO) vĀ  Stefan Fegerl/Feng Xiaoquan (AUT) Thursday 17:30
– winner vs Burov/Lakeev (RUS) or Berner/Ronneberg (NOR) Thursday 19:00

Womens’ Doubles Qualifying Round:
Joanna Parker/Kelly Sibley vs Krisztina Ambrus/Dora Madarasz (HUN) Thursday 18:30
– winner vs Stefanska (POL)/Strbikova (CZE) or Blazhko/Fadeeva (RUS) Thursday 19:30

Boys’ Under-21 Qualifying Groups:
Group 4:
Stephane Ouaiche (FRA) Thursday 08:00
David McBeath
Boris Mihailovic (SRB) Wednesday 18:15