Table tennis star Tin-Tin Ho excited to be back competing on the world stage
- Credit: Archant
Tin-Tin Ho is excited to be back competing on the world stage as she travels to Qatar for three tournaments including the chance to qualify for the Olympics.
The 22-year-old Paddington star has not played competitively since lifting her fourth national women’s singles title on March 1 last year, and has been concentrating on her studies for a medical degree at the University of Nottingham.
That will all change when she steps out at two World Table Tennis (WTT) tournaments in Doha – the WTT Contender event begins on Sunday and is followed by the WTT Star Contender, which has a $400,000 prize fund, from March 8.
She will then go straight into the World Olympic Qualifying tournament on March 14, where up to eight singles places for the Tokyo Olympics will be decided – if she doesn’t make it, she will have a further opportunity at the European qualifying event from April 21.
The Doha events are being held in a ‘bio bubble’, with players required to return two negative covid tests a week and 72 hours before leaving their home nations.
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Ho, currently ranked No 93 in the world, has been training alongside other England squad members under elite sport protocols at the University of Nottingham and said: “I’m really excited to start competing again and even better that we’re going out for three tournaments and I’m really excited to play in all of them.
“It’s been really good, I’ve been really lucky to train here at David Ross, alongside studying as well. The set-up has been really good and I’m feeling good.
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“It’ll be tough, I haven’t competed for a year but I’ve done lots of matchplay and things like that and I’ll just have to go out there and see how it goes.”
Ho did have the setback of having to self-isolate after returning a positive test earlier this year – she was asymptomatic and none of the other players or staff were affected.
She added: “I’m good, luckily I didn’t get any symptoms. The hardest part was just mentally self-isolating and not being able to practise but I still got a lot of stuff done, so it was all right.”
Ho will start in the qualifying rounds for the WTT events and aim to make it into the main draw where some of the world’s leading players could await, including world No 2 Sun Yingsha of China and No 3 Mima Ito of Japan.