Ping Pong Pros Challenge Public for Test Event Tickets

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November 22, 2015

Call it ping pong promotion.

Organizers of the 2016 Summer Olympics, in an effort to promote the table test event during the August Games in Rio de Janeiro, unveiled a professional-to-amateur challenge in Central do Brasil, Rio’s main train station. Four of the country’s best players took part, challenging commuters to a battle with paddles. Any commuter who could return two of five seves from the rocket paddles of a professional would win tickets to the test event.

The four professionals were Caroline Kumahara, Gui Lin, Bruna Takahashi, and Gustavo Tsuboi. Each fronted up for the railway station event and threw in their time to promote the test event.

A few people returned serves well enough to win tickets to the test event. Among those taking the challenge were students from Rio’s own Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic High School. The school ensures that its students have a good mix of academic studies with their specific sports training. One 12-year-old student from the school not only returned a pro’s serve but also won the point.

The test event took place November 18-21. Lin won the women’s singles title.

The Olympic table tennis competition will run August 6-17 and will feature more than 170 of the world’s top players. It will the sport’s eighth appearance in the Olympic Games. The debut was in 1988, in Seoul.

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