The Olympic Games are now less than a day away and Ellenborough Table Tennis Club have been busy greeting both the Chinese and Hungarian players.
After hosting the Hungarian Olympic team last week, it was the turn of World Number 6 and 2008 Olympic Champion Ma Lin and current World Number 13 and reigning English Open Champion Chen Qi to be welcomed to the club.
The duo also paired up in Athens to win the Men’s Doubles gold in 2004. Although the strength of the Chinese team means that neither will be in attendance in London to extend their medal haul.
After a quick knock with the Ellenborough youngsters some of the players were given a unique opportunity to play with Qi and Lin; the juniors certainly weren’t expecting to end their season with a schedule of Ryan Williams vs Chen Qi, Bradley Tuttle vs Ma Lin and Tyla Anderson vs Ma Lin for example.
Ellenborough TTC Chairman, Keith Williams said: “London 2012 has provided a unique opportunity for juniors at Ellenborough to meet with and play the best table tennis players in the world. I’m a bit lost for words, but would simply like to say ‘thank you’, to Ma Lin, Chin Qi, and the Chinese team management for inspiring the children at our club.”
Williams went on to say: “It has been an amazing five days with a visit from the Hungarian team followed by a visit from the Chinese team – and the GB team threw in a signed shirt for auction as well! I’d also like to thank fellow members at the club, especially Wei – who sacrificed their time to make this happen. We look forward to continuing our partnership with our Chinese friends over the coming fortnight.”