Great Britain will have a representative in the Olympic Men’s Singles Final, as ETTA umpire Tom Purcell will realise his dreams by officiating on the biggest stage at the ExCeL.
Purcell, part of a select panel of 24 elite umpires to officiate at this year’s Olympic Games, has been given the privilege to oversee the final ahead of his fellow peers.
Having also been selected to umpire at the Liebherr Men’s World Cup in his home city of Liverpool (28-30th September), Purcell can look forward to an exciting and prestigious end to 2012.
He said: “It is by far a long way the highlight of my career, it’s nice to be chosen. It’s an endorsement to all of my training and my selection based on my experience.”
Purcell, who has been playing table tennis since the age of 12 and who has umpired around the world in events including the European Championships and the Men’s World Cup Final last year, found out on Tuesday of this once in a lifetime opportunity.
He commented: “I found out the evening before last when the schedule came out for yesterday. I was delighted. We would all like to be chosen for the final but for it to actually happen is very exciting.”
The London Olympics has brought about several benefits for the host representatives with the crowds not only being receptive to the players, but also for the home officials – something Purcell has been a beneficiary of throughout the first week.
He enthused: “It is hard to take it in. All the British umpires in here have been getting very good applause.” He added: “I know my family is recording the final and they’re all very pleased. I’ve already received a number of texts of congratulations from my friends.”
The final will be held at 15:30 on Thursday afternoon.