July 30 2014 Latest news:

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 16°C

Five-day forecast

Russian star aims for hat-trick at Alexandra Palace

Barry Hearn Barry Hearn

Ziad Chaudry
Friday, January 3, 2014
7:35 AM

‘Magic’ Maxim Shmyrev will be determined to keep his grip on the World Championship of Ping Pong title over two days of competition at Alexandra Palace this weekend.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The 42-year-old from Moscow has held the WCPP since its inauguration in 2011, having retained the crown at last year’s event – and he is now aiming to make it three in a row by Sunday evening.

Event promoter Barry Hearn, the Matchroom Sport and Leyton Orient chairman, believes the Russian is a huge asset to the classic sandpaper hard bat game.

“He’s been fantastic because he’s organised loads of qualifiers in Russia while qualifying himself,” said Hearn. “He’s the most unlikely of success stories.”

In the opening-round double elimination stage, Shmyrev is in a group with England Commonwealth Games hopeful Emma Vickers, who is one of three females in the 64-player field.

The event also sees the return of American Hollywood actor Adoni Maropis – who played terrorist leader Abu Fayed in season six of ‘24’ – and one of the legendary names of English table tennis, 69-year-old Denis Neale, who is the oldest competitor in the event.

The 18-time national champion, who qualified back in July, reached the last 32 last year, and Hearn said: “Denis is back through a qualifier, so he’s there on merit!

“This is a level playing field and Denis has shown that, coming up to 70 years old, he’s still capable of getting through a tough field and qualifying – who’s to say he can’t win it?

“We had decent crowds last year so we want that to grow and almost turn this into the next darts, because I think it’s capable of producing drama on the table and they’re characters that play the game.

“I will say to people ‘come along and see’. You may be surprised with the level of entertainment.”

Tickets, priced at £10 and £15, are available either at the venue or via www.WorldChampionshipOfPingPong.net.

Share this article

0 comments

   Local advertisers

More Sport articles

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Islington Gazette on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Islington businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Islington Gazette, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

Read full story »