Joanna Parker & Paul Drinkhall presented with the national mixed doubles trophy by Eileen Shaler & Peter Charters

A consecutive weekend feast of Grand Prix table tennis action hits the southern county of Sussex for the Satellite Grand Prix, to be held at Burgess Hill this coming weekend of the 4th/5th of June. Soon afterwards, there’s the penultimate in the series of ten major Grand Prix’s that call on neighbouring county Surrey for the Bribar Guildford Grand Prix scheduled for the weekend of the 11th/12th of June, held at the Guildford Spectrum Parkway, GU1 1UP.

The town of Guildford set in the beautiful countryside of Surrey is built around the River Wey and boasts a Cathedral with many places of historic interest. Economically and culturally vibrant, the town provides an excellent working and living environment with London only 25 miles away.

Leading contenders for places in Team GB at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Paul Drinkhall, Danny Reed and Gavin Rumgay together with Joanna Parker will be the top seeds in the Men’s and Women’s Open events at Guildford scheduled for Sunday the 12th of June. What a fantastic opportunity for any table tennis enthusiast to come along and watch the fab four, together with so many other exciting players displaying their wonderful talents – and all for free!

A new venue for the Grand Prix this year is the 21 table playing sports hall of the Leisure Complex at Guildford’s Spectrum Parkway which has attracted a star studded entry. As already mentioned England’s top players are represented in the Men’s Open by Paul Drinkhall S1, Danny Reed S2, Gavin Rumgay (Scotland – S3,) and Chris Doran S4, with a very warm welcome back to top class tournament play for Gavin Evans S5 who is playing in his first major competition after a year on the sidelines through injury, who was a former European Cadet Champion. The top five will be extended all the way by Matt Ware S6, Damien Nicholls S7, David McBeath S8, Paul McCreery S9 and Craig Bryant S10. Competitors from Guernsey and Jersey will make the journey worthwhile with the opportunity to compete with Britain’s finest players.

If the seeding goes to plan we could have a repeat of the fantastic Men’s final that was held earlier in the year at the English Senior National Championships in Sheffield where Paul Drinkhall took his 3rd Men’s title at the expense of a very gallant Danny Reed.

The Women’s Open event also to be played on Sunday has enticed a very strong entry in terms of quality with Jo Parker (England number 2 ranked player) topping the bill. Jo will be a very tough opponent to wear down with her supreme defensive style of play and hard hitting opportunist attack. Nevertheless with Egle Adomelyte S2, Lauren Spink S3, Emily Bates S4 and Alice Loveridge S5 in the line up she will be made to work hard for the winner’s cheque for £175.

The Bribar trade stand will be in the playing hall throughout the weekend to cater for all your table tennis needs.

Play commences at 08.45am on Saturday the 11th of June with the nine banded events under the spotlight. Please feel free to come along and support the players and take this rare opportunity to watch many of the top players in the country. The draw for Guildford is now available on the ETTA website.

By Geoff Ware, Grand Prix Press Officer