by Simon Daish
The inaugural season of the T2 APAC is set to be hosted in the second half of the year in Hong Kong. Overall 24 players will take part in the T2 APAC and, while the full line up is yet to be confirmed, the likes of Vladimir Samsonov and Feng Tianwei are just a couple of the names who will be competing in an attempt to win a share of the prize fund.
Another of the officially announced names on the initial player list is that of Paul Drinkhall, who enjoyed a magnificent year in 2016 with the capture of an unexpected bronze medal with England at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur. Drinkhall is hoping to see the new league evolve in a positive way for the sport.
“We need more and more of these kinds of events to boost publicity throughout the world. The organisers are focusing on Asia at the beginning but hopefully it can come over to the United Kingdom and turn into something like what the Premier League of darts is doing”, Paul Drinkhall.
Paul Drinkhall, 27 years old, has proven throughout his career to be one of his country’s finest table tennis players: Paul finished as the runner up in the Boys’ Singles event at the 2008 World Junior Championships, and six years later he partnered up with wife Joanna to claim the Mixed Doubles gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Rio 2016 saw Paul Drinkhall become only the third table tennis player from Great Britain to reach the last 16 of the Men’s Singles event at an Olympic Games following victories against Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic, Singapore’s Gao Ning and Croatia’s Andrej Gacina.
Some months have passed since the conclusion of the 2016 Olympic Games and Drinkhall, who is placed at no.40 in January’s ITTF World Rankings table, is heading into the inaugural T2 APAC season eager to impress.
“Each event people will get to know the players a little bit more and getting to know the individuals can only help the sport. For me it can only help put my name out there and get more sponsorship. Hopefully I can go out there and get some good results and show how I can play”, Paul Drinkhall.