Low and Lim hopes to make it twice in a row as a T2 Diamond table tennis ball kids
The T2 Diamond Table Tennis League, the all-new grand slam of table tennis organised in collaboration with the International Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed Johor Bahru (Malaysia) as one of the three hosts cities, with Haikou in China and Singapore being the other two.
Samuel Low Yu Hang 18 and Lim Yi Siew 14, hopes to make it twice in a row as a ball kid for the second T2 Diamond Table Tennis League that will be held in Johor Bahru at the Pinewood Iskandar Studios, from 18th to the 21st of July 2019.
Both Low and Lim were ball boys at first T2 Diamond event held in Johor Bahru in 2017 and recently took part in the first of three ball kids trials held at the Ninja Table Tennis Centre in JB.
Over 30 kids ranging from ages 7-15 took part in the trials that tested the ball kids on their ability to stay focused on catching and tossing the ball, time to react and picking up the ball, their speed off the mark and their agility and balance while running.
Low’s most memorable experience in the previous season was his interaction with former World No 1 Ranked player Timo Boll and get some lasting personal memories. Low said “After the T2 Season 1 event, I was inspired to take up table tennis and consciously scouted for coaches and centres where I can take up the game, which I did and train on a regular basis now. I am very excited and hoping I will make it again for this year too and be part of Timo’s game”.
The T2 DIAMOND Table Tennis League, the all-new grand slam of table tennis organised in collaboration with the International Tennis Federation (ITTF and features 32 of the world’s best men’s and women’s players, a total prize purse of USD 1.5 million, and a progressive competition format that aims to amplify the appeal of table tennis across regions.
Belinda Liew, Marketing Director, T2 Diamond said, “It is really exciting to bring the T2 Diamond Table Tennis league to our fans in the form of these trials to be ball boys and give Malaysians the once in a life time experience to be part of a global sporting event”.
For Lim Yi Siew, all she wants is to be a ball kid for Ma Long, the current Olympic and World Champion. Lim said “He is my hero and being a ball kid means I can get to watch him play, really up-close and hopefully get some tips from such a world class champion and perhaps even a selfie with him,” she added.
According to Belinda, there will be another two more trials scheduled for 22nd and 29th June 2019 and they expect at least another 100 ball boys and girls to participate. At the end of the trials 20 ball kids will be selected for the main event.
“We hope to see that the T2 model will prove to the market how best to commercialise table tennis. At the ITTF we are flexible and open to new ideas of taking the sport to a new level and success for the T2 events would demonstrate that there is a much better chance for table tennis to grow as fast as we’d like,” said Steve Dainton, CEO of The International Table Tennis Federation.
Trials will be held on 22nd June 2019 at SJK(C) Chee Tong, Masai Johor from 11am – 3pm and on 29th June 2019 at Sincere Sports Centre, Nusa Bestari from 2pm to 6pm.
Meanwhile tickets for the T2 Diamond event is now available with incredible early bird offers as low as RM25 and you can get your tickets from www.airasiaredtix.com/t2diamondmy.
The T2 format was introduced for the first time in professional table tennis in 2017, with matches held under a 24-minutes time limit. Competitions feature a single table set-up, with the aim of having an intimate competition arena designed to boost both player and audience experience.
ITTF and T2 inked a deal last year for the T2 Diamond series to serve as a test bed in 2019 and 2020 for the world federation’s new competition structure from 2021.