Nations Unite – 2011 Qatar Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup

ITTF Press Release, Nov 22, 2011: United through table tennis the powerful doubles combination of Ryu Seung Min from the Republic of Korea and Kim Hyok Bong from the Democratic People’s Republic created history winning the 2011 Qatar Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup. They overcame the pairing of Fan Yiyong (USA) and  Grigory Vlasov (RUS): 11-9, 11-3, 11-4  (3-0), in an exciting match (2011 Qatar Peace Sport Table Tennis Cup).

In a reverse of the men’s event the pairing from USA and Russia were dominant. Lily Zhang (USA) and Anna Tikhomirova (RUS) defeated Kim Kyung Ah (KOR) and Kim Hye Song (PRK): 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 12-14, 11-3 (3-2).

Adham Sharara, ITTF President said:

“This event may mark a new era for Ping Pong diplomacy, or in today’s lingo ‘Ping Pong Diplomacy version 2.0’. It has always been my dream that our sport is used in peace initiatives bringing together representatives from different countries and have them play ‘together’ side by side in an atmosphere of peace and understanding.

“I am very happy that all the participating countries have put peace and sport ahead of any political differences. This is the right way forward and we are witnessing history and a new era for sport as a means for promoting peace.”

Understanding and harmony is the underlining principle of an event that will combine world class action will superb entertainment and not only superb entertainment in the playing arena. Australia’s Paulini will sing at the Opening Ceremony and at the tournament itself. She will perform her latest Ping Pong song. Also supporting the tournament are Korean Air.

Korean Air’s Chairman and CEO Yang Ho Cho said:

“The first Peace and Sport Table Tennis Cup is set to be an historic occasion for the sport and also for sending out peace messages through sport.  I believe we can promote friendly relations and dialogue between players, spectators and their nations. Sport is a neutral territory that crosses all barriers and hostilities.”

Joel Bouzou, President of Peace and Sport said:

“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.”

Prize Fund $100,000

About the International Table Tennis Federation:

The International Table Tennis Federation is responsible for the global sport of table tennis It is the second largest international federation in the world with 215 member nations.

Table Tennis is an Olympic Sport, introduced at the 1988 Seoul Olympics Game Table Tennis is also a Paralympic Sport Table Tennis is known as one of the most democratic sports on the planet and boasts high levels of life-long participation from every demographic Table Tennis is also one of the most cerebral sports; the medical profession often uses it for patients recovering from strokes etc. to stimulate the brain, and aid movement and coordination Table Tennis TV Audience figures compare favourably to other sports with the Women’s Team Final and Men’s Team Semi-Final ranked 5th and 7th respectively in the top 20 viewing figures from the entire 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Table Tennis also managed to capture the imagination of almost half of the Chinese population during the 2008 Beijing Games with an astonishing 48.2 % tuning in for a minimum of 15 consecutive minutes. (Source: CMS Media Research).

The ITTF  Development Program organizes more than 100 courses worldwide annually, including an active program using table tennis as a vehicle for social change.

The “Table Tennis for Peace” projects in conjunction with Peace and Sport has assisted in areas of conflict in Colombia, East Timor and from December Burundi-CongoDR

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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