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Drexel to Host U.S. Olympic & National Team Trials – Table Tennis

Drexel to Host U.S. Olympic & National Team Trials – Table Tennis

PHILADELPHIA, January 7, 2008

The 2008 U.S. Olympic & National Team Trials in table tennis will be held at Drexel University from Jan. 10 to Jan. 13. The trials are expected to draw the elite 24 table tennis athletes from across the country with 12 athletes competing in men’s singles and 12 athletes competing in women’s singles in a round-robin format to help determine who will represent the United States in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. “We are proud to partner with Philadelphia and Drexel University to bring one of our most prestigious events to the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia put together a compelling bid, and we are confident this will be a successful event,” said Teodor Gheorghe, Head Coach, USA Table Tennis (USATT). “Fans will have an excellent opportunity to see the nation’s top table tennis athletes as they continue on the path to Beijing.” The event, combined with the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in gymnastics coming to Philadelphia in June, makes Philadelphia one of only two U.S. cities to host two U.S. Olympic Trials events leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games. “Drexel is proud and honored to host the Olympic team trials in table tennis,” said Dr. Constantine Papadakis, president of Drexel. “It is a tribute to our City and the University to host such a high-stakes event in which teams will compete for the privilege of representing the United States at the Olympic Games in Beijing.” Dr. Eric Zillmer, Drexel director of athletics, said, “I am certain that we will stage a well-run and visible event of the highest competitive caliber that will also serve as a showcase for the sport of table tennis. The Olympic Games celebrate an essential part of what makes us human. It is thrilling to me personally that the ‘road’ to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, at least for table tennis, will go through Philadelphia and Drexel.” The U.S. Olympic Team Trials is a collaborative, three-way partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, the National Governing Bodies and the local organizing committee. The Philadelphia Local Organizing Committee consists of Drexel University, the Philadelphia Sports Congress, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Philadelphia Olympic and International Sports Project, and the area table tennis community. “This is another great example of Philadelphia's diversity as a leading sports destination,” said Larry Needle, executive director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “With Drexel as host, and the support of our amateur sports community, we know that this will be a tremendous event for the city.” Tickets are available for the 2008 U.S. Olympic & National Team Trials for table tennis. The event will be held at Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center (33rd and Market Streets). Tickets are limited and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-866-4-DREXEL. ### News Media Contacts: John Tomish, Drexel Athletics, 215-895-2084 Danielle Cohn, 215-636-3320 Niki Gianakaris, Assistant Director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu