Chris Doran made the semi-finals at Ally Pally

Last weekend saw the introduction of the World Championships of Ping Pong – a new brainchild of Barry Hearn’s Matchroom Sports team, and the competition was full of home-grown English talent.

While the overall title went to Russia’s Maxim Shmyrev, it was a group of British League players that permeated the rest of ┬áthe sandpaper bat tournament that was aired live on Sky Sports TV at the start of the new year.

Sule Olaleye, a regular in the British League, was the eventual runner-up but it was Grand Prix regular Chris Doran that carried the host nation’s hopes into the semi-finals where he earnt himself a cool $5,000. Not a bad weekend’s work for Doran who had spent part of the Christmas period in hospital with illness.

While Doran’s success was the best of the Brits at Alexandra Palace, there was also a quarter-final place for Team GB athlete Andrew Baggaley. Fellow British-based players: Gavin Rumgay, Andrew Rushton, Tony West, Gergely Urban and the tournament’s only female participant Egle Adomelyte all made the last 16 in another good effort from the ‘locals’.

The tournament itself saw a number of innovations, albeit some from the ‘old school’ of table tennis, that helped create the overall spectacle. These included the use of the sandpaper bats as well as a ‘double-point’ ball to be used as a form of powerplay. All those who watched will be keen to see whether Mr Hearn continues his plan to televise this version of the game.

To see the full draw from the event click on the link below: