by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Ask any player and they will tell you that the Paralympic Games is different; at other tournaments on the calendar there will be support from colleagues, there is not likely to be massive spectator attendance.
At the Paralympic Games it is very different; four years ago in London, the sight of some 500 people queuing to access the arena in the ExCeL Exhibition Centre was a sight to behold.
Equally, once inside they created a quite remarkable atmosphere as the chants of “Team GB, Team GB” echoed around the hall.
One wonders what that might be like in Rio de Janeiro; I would suggest that at the recently completed Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the crowd created one of the most fervent atmospheres ever known in a table tennis arena.
The Brazilian players responded but it was in reality seeing how far they could progress as opposed to being medal contenders.
Now at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, they have players who have major chances of fulfilling the dream.
They are counting down the days, so are the officials
Download latest details from Rio de Janeiro
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: Entries for individual events – August 2016
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: Entries for team events – August 2016
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: Players list – World ranking points
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: Late reallocation owing Russia absence
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: Practice sessions – information
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: Practice sessions – timetable