The First Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup Set to Make History

ITTF Press Release, Nov 16, 2011: Table Tennis players from North Korea and South Korea, Pakistan and India will compete in mixed pairs in Doha, Qatar on 20 and 21 November.

40 years after “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” helped to restore diplomatic relations between USA and China during the Cold War, Table Tennis is about to make history again by uniting North Korea and South Korea, India and Pakistan through sport!

On the 15th November, “Peace and Sport, l’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport” proudly approved the provisional doubles pairings draws made by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) for the “Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup”, a historic table tennis tournament conceived to encourage dialogue and reconciliation between nations, which will be held in Qatar on 21 – 22 November 2011.

Provisional pairings for the 10 participating nations are as follows:

1. PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (China) paired with QATAR

2. FRANCE with JAPAN

3. INDIA with PAKISTAN

4. DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA (North Korea) with REPUBLIC OF KOREA (South Korea)

5. USA with RUSSIA

These proposed pairings will create unforgettable and historic matches in line with the ultimate goal of the event. By playing together as doubles teams, the athletes will pave the way to ease political tensions, unite nations through table tennis and foster peace and dialogue.

Founded by Modern Pentathlon former World Champion and Olympic medallist Joel Bouzou, and placed under the High-Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, “Peace and Sport” along with the ITTF is the instigator of this friendly event organized by the Qatar Table Tennis Association, with support from the National Olympic Committee of Qatar.

Joel Bouzou, President of Peace and Sport commented:

“The first Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup is set to be a historic moment! It will foster dialogue between countries and promote mutual understanding and peace in an unprecedented way for a sports event. By pairing together, the athletes will provide an example of amicable teamwork to diplomats and government representatives from the 10 participating nations who are invited to watch the tournament.

The neutral status of sport provides an ideal environment for people to meet and discuss with no fixed agenda. That’s the power of sport! As a former athlete myself, it’s a great pride and an immense honour to have succeeded in bringing together countries which would not easily communicate in other contexts.”

The provisional draws for men’s and women’s doubles pairs in the Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup were made during the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Bahrain under the supervision of the ITTF’s Executive Director of Competitions, Ms. Judit Farago.

The provisional pairings and rankings will need to be officially approved by the ITTF Executive Committee on 19 November 2011 to become effective. The official competition draw will then be made in Doha on 20 November 2011. The tournament has a $100,000 prize fund for the winners offered by Korean Airlines.

Provisional Seedings for Doubles Pairs in the Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup

MEN’S DOUBLES

Seeding Pair and Ranking Points

1st seed: RYU Seung Min (KOR) + KIM Hyok Bong (PRK) 2420+1923 = 4343

2nd seed: MATTENET Adrian (FRA) + YOSHIDA Kaii (JPN) 2186+2146 = 4332

3rd seed: CHEN Qi (CHN) + AL-MOHANNADI Ahmed (QAT) 2476+1391 = 3867

4th seed: FAN Yiyong (USA) + VLASOV Grigory (RUS) 1481+1833 = 3314

5th seed: ROY Soumyadeep (IND) + AWAIS HASSAN Syed (PAK) 1575+1200 = 2775

WOMEN’S DOUBLES

Seeding Pair and Ranking Points

1st seed: KIM Kyong Ah (KOR) + KIM Hye Song (PRK) 2579+2028 = 4607

2nd seed: ZHANG Lily (USA) + TIKHOMIROVA Anna (RUS) 1959+2205 = 4164

3rd seed: GRUNDISCH Carole (FRA) + MIYAKE Natsumi (JPN) 2091+1805 = 3896

4th seed: CAO Zhen (CHN) + MOHAMED Aia Magdy (QAT) 2359+ 805 = 3164

5th seed: GHATAK Poulomi (IND) + FLAK SHER Sadia (PAK) 1759+ 750 = 2509.

ABOUT PEACE AND SPORT

“Peace and Sport, L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport” is a neutral and apolitical international initiative based in the Principality of Monaco and placed under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. Peace and Sport puts sport and its values at the heart of local development projects conducted within communities in crisis around the world.

Exercising its missions in post-conflict zones, areas of extreme poverty or lacking social cohesion, Peace and Sport makes sport a vehicle for tolerance, respect, sharing and citizenship at the service of sustainable peace.

Supported by governments, world sport governing bodies, international organizations, major international private companies and international sports champions, Peace and Sport creates synergies between different stakeholders based on four different activities:

The annual Peace and Sport International Forum (5th edition being held in Monaco from 26-28 October 2011). A co-operation platform for peace and sport, – The Peace and Sport Awards, to reward individuals and initiatives contributing to peace, – Locally-Based Projects; concrete actions in different regions of crisis in the world Today, Peace and Sport has operations in Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Israel-Palestine, Timor Leste, Colombia and in Haiti.

Peace and Sport was founded by Joel Bouzou, current President of the organisation. Joel Bouzou is an Olympic medallist, world champion of Modern Pentathlon and current Secretary General for the International Union of Modern Pentathlon (UIPM). He is also Advisor to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.

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