Surrey table tennis stars heading for top free tournament in Crawley

Surrey table tennis aces Jo and Paul Drinkhall and Darius Knight will be among an international field of stars of the sport drawing fans from across the South-east to an event with more than a bit of spin on it.

Jo, who played in the London Olympics and who last year launched Horley and District Pubwatch's Ping Pong in the Park project of all-weather tables in the open air in Horley and Charlwood, will be playing in the Heritage Oil Open table tennis tournament at K2 in Crawley.

The event on Saturday, July 5, and Sunday, July 6, will be the highest standard tournament in the UK since the 2012 Olympics, and is being used as a warm-up to the Commonwealth Games by the English, Welsh and Irish squads. The tournament, which is to be filmed for a two-hour highlights broadcast on BT Sport, will have free admission.

Surrey's recently-married Jo and Paul Drinkhall – ranked 109 and 82 in the world respectively – will be joined by table tennis stars including China's Fangxian Yi.

Paul, who is the number two seed in the Men’s event, which is packed with first team internationals from Hungary, Poland, Italy, Portugal and France, as well as Surrey's Darius Knight, who is world ranked 217, will be playing hot off the heels of winning the Spanish World Pro Tour.

He is the first Englishman to have won it since 1996.

His wife Jo is the event's Women's defending champion and is the number four seed in an equally star-packed Women’s line-up that includes Fangxian Yi and her fellow English team mates Kelly Sibley and Tin Tin Ho, plus a number of French and Polish internationals.

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