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Gavin Rumgay will be hoping for another good run in World Championship of Ping Pong this weekend at Alexandra Palace.

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Twelve months ago the 29-year-old Stratford-based Scot reached the televised last 16 stage, beaten by eventual finalist from Nigeria Sule Olaleye.

He rubber-stamped his return to Ally Pally after winning the Scottish Qualifier in Glasgow back in September after defeating Terry McLernon 2-0 in the final.

In the opening round Double Elimination stage Rumgay, who is hoping to appear in next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, is grouped with four-time Olympian and former world veteran champion from China Ding Yi, Philippines Louie Pineda, Dutchman Lars Adema, Ksenia Tulenkova of Russia, Austrian Stefan Leitgeb, France’s current top hardbat player Jean-Michel Carquin and Kit Jeerapaet from Thailand.

‘Magic’ Maxim Shmyrev will be looking to make it three in a row by Sunday evening. The 42-year-old from Moscow, Russia retained his title at last year’s event after defeating Nigerian Olaleye in a pulsating five-set thriller.

Shmyrev has held the WCPP since its inauguration of the classic sandpaper hard bat tournament back in 2001.

The event also sees the return of American Hollywood Hollywood actor Adoni Maropis and one of the legendary names of English table tennis 69-year-old Denis Neale, the oldest competitor in the 64-player event.

The 18-time national champion from Middleborough, who qualified back in July, reached the last 32 twelve months ago and is in a group that features 1988 Olympic Silver medallist at Men’s doubles event Ilija Lupulesku.

Event promoter Matchroom Sport and Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn believes anyone who attends WCPP this weekend are in for a real treat.

“We need to get the place absolutely banged out,” he said.

“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 to come along and see. You may be surprised with the level of entertainment that is on show.

“Admire the people what they do, come along and be entertained, that’s the message – you won’t regret it.”

Tickets, priced at £10 and £15, are available at the venue or via www.WorldChampionshipOfPingPong.net, otherwise catch all the action on Sky Sports.

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