Home / 2008 Beijing Olympic Games / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
ITTF official sees table tennis venue ready for Olympics
Adjust font size:

Senior official of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) gave high praise to the Olympic table tennis venue in which the "Good Luck Beijing" test event concluded on Wednesday.

"I want to represent the ITTF to say thanks to the organizing committee here. They have done a very good job. The ITTF are fully satisfied," said Jordi Serra, Executive Director to the Headquarter and Olympic Office of the sport's world ruling body, at a news conference in Beijing.

"Even if the Olympic Games began next week, I think the organizing committee would have been ready," he added. "Many, who had worked for Athens and Sydney, also worked here and they all thumbed up for Beijing's job."

The Beijing University Gymnasium, which is to hold the table tennis competitions at next year's Olympic Games in Beijing, has been under test with the ITTF ProTour Finals on Dec. 13-16 and the 2007 International Table Tennis Invitational Tournament on 18-19.

Fifty-seven players from 17 associations participated in the Olympic test events as all gold medals of the finals have been pocketed by the unbeatable hosts.

"More than fifteen thousand spectators have come into the stadium for the events and the ticket income summed to 1.15 million yuan (about 150,000 U.S. dollars) with 10,742 tickets having been sold," Zhang Yan, Chief Director to the stadium's Olympic functioning team, told the press.

Problems, however, have also emerged besides the prosperity. The lighting system and the facility for spectators are the main aspects being widely blamed.

On Thursday afternoon, blackout hit the finals and the ongoing men's and women's doubles matches had to be halted for 20 minutes and the organizing committee said it was a failure for the emergency power system.

"The blackout accident warned us," Zhang said. "After the events, we will do further checks on the stadium's hardware."

Also, a number of players complained the lighting is too bright, while broadcasters called for even much brighter lighting.

"As a technical official of the ITTF, I've told the organizing committee that the lighting might be too bright for players, especially those who throw high to serve," said Yao Zhenxu, Chairman of the ITTF Technical Committee.

"But the broadcasters want the contrary. We'll later work on it and try to meet demands from all aspects," added Yao, who's also a member of the Olympic functioning team for table tennis.

For the spectating stands, Yao said the organizing committee has heard the complaints of coaches and players, and they'll manage on it though it's difficult to handle with a limited area.

Liu Guoliang and Shi Zhihao, head coaches of the Chinese men's and women's table tennis national team, both complained about the above- mentioned problems as Liu said the spectators' talks could be heard during matches and players were always affected.

The Beijing University Gymnasium, the first ever professional table tennis venue used in Olympic Games, had caught fire on July 2 and widely raised worries towards the construction schedule.

Located in northwest Beijing, the domed 26,900-square-meter gymnasium is one of the 12 new venues being built for next year's Olympic Games. Upon completion, the gym will be able to hold 8,000 spectators.

(Xinhua News Agency December 20, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Fantastic Four battle each other for Olympic table tennis berths
- Guo Yue survives all-Chinese semifinal
- Year-ending event hints on table tennis roster for Olympics
- China dominates team events at Olympic test tourney
Most Viewed >>
- China tie Qatar 0-0 in WC qualifiers
- European Swimming Championships
- China rules 2nd World Cup with five gold medals
- Italian soccer team training session interrupted by beauties 
- China beat Memphis in 3rd basketball friendly