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ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- USA Table Tennis and the Central Florida Sports Commission today announced that the 2018 US Open Table Tennis Championships will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from December 16 through December 22, 2018.
The US Open, which is open to everyone, is expected to offer an expansive schedule of table tennis events that will accommodate persons of every age category and skill capability. The tournament, which is expected to attract well over 1000 participants playing on over 125 tables, will also feature a full slate of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) sanctioned elite events that should attract some of the top table tennis players in the world, including the premier members of the US National Team.
Past US Open champions include Olympic and World medalists and some of the greatest table tennis players of all-time, including Jan-Ove Waldner (Sweden), Jean-Michel Saive (Belgium), Liu Guoliang (China), Ma Lin (China), Ryu Seung-Min (Korea), Xu Jin (China), Li Jiawei (Singapore), and Gao Jun (USA).
Online registration for the 2018 US Open is expected to open on September 1 on the USATT website, www.usatt.org.
This marks the first time in the eighty-seven year history of the US Open Table Tennis Championships that the tournament will be held in Orlando, one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Located in Central Florida, Orlando has served and continues to serve as the host for a wide range of sporting teams and events, including the NBA’s Orlando Magic and Major League Soccer’s Orlando City Soccer Club, as well as some of the best golf in the world. The main event will be held at the world-class Orange County Convention Center, one of the largest convention centers in the United States. In recent history, USATT has also hosted the penultimate premier events, the Men’s and Women’s Singles Finals, at an off-site location specially adapted and designed to heighten the viewing experience of fans attending the event or viewing the matches through live-stream video. Several well-known, premier venues in the Orlando area are currently under consideration for the finals this year.
“I have no doubt that the Orlando community, the Orange County Convention Center, and Central Florida Sports Commission will be great hosts for this prestigious event,” commented USATT Chief Executive Officer Gordon Kaye. “As the third most popular sport in the world, we love the saying ‘everyone loves table tennis,’ and are confident the residents of Orange County will be enthralled by the skill, speed, and agility of elite table tennis. At the same time, we are committed to providing fun and interactive opportunities for anyone to play the sport as part of the US Open.”
“We are delighted that USA Table Tennis has selected the Orange County Convention Center to host the 2018 USA Table Tennis US Open,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “This internationally-attended event will benefit our community in so many ways. From economic impact to the excitement of athletic competition, the presence of a thriving sports and recreation industry enriches our community in so many ways. By investing in thrilling events like the USA Table Tennis US Open, we celebrate the spirit of athletic discipline and achievement, as well as the diversity of our culture and broad range of interests.”
“We are thrilled to welcome USA Table Tennis and the US Open Championships to Orlando for this first time this December,” said Jason Siegel, CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “The US Open has a storied history and a high level of talent, and the event continues to grow each year. We are excited to show the participants, coaches and spectators all that Central Florida has to offer and we look forward to growing our new partnership with USATT.”
MORE ABOUT USATT
USATT, which is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is organized under the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of table tennis in the United States. As a member service organization, USATT promotes table tennis by creating opportunities for athletes and coaches of all backgrounds to participate in the sport through more than 250 clubs and over 350 tournaments across the nation annually. USA Table Tennis is a member of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Pan American and Olympic Games.
USATT hosts two major events each year, including the US Nationals and US Open. In 2018, USATT also served as the host for the largest table tennis tournament in the world, the World Veterans Championship, which was recently completed in Las Vegas, Nevada. USATT. The title for the US Open Championship has been sought annually since 1931. The reigning singles champion in the men’s division is Taimu Arinobu of Japan, while the 2017 women’s singles champion was Yuki Shoji, also from Japan.