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Table Tennis: China’s Zhang, Li claim top prizes at ITTF Star Awards in Dubai

Olympic champion Zhang Jike was the most successful player at the inaugural ITTF Star Awards, with wins in two categories. Photo: ITTF.

Olympic champion Zhang Jike won two trophies at the inaugural ITTF Star Awards at Raffles Hotel Dubai. Photos: ITTF.

January 12, 2014: China’s Zhang Jike and compatriot Li Xiaoxia were crowned as the first-ever Male and Female Table Tennis Stars respectively in the inaugural ITTF Star Awards Driven by GAC Motor, held on Saturday evening at Raffles Hotel Dubai in the UAE.

 

Zhang, the 2012 Olympic champion who successfully defended his World Championship title last year, won both the ITTF Male Table Tennis Star sponsored by Ping Pong Dubai as well the Fans’ Male Table Tennis Star presented by TMS International, which was chosen by online voting.

 

“It is a very big honour to win these awards – and sorry that I have won both,” said the 25-year-old Zhang, currently World No. 3.

 

“These awards do not belong to me; they belong to all the table tennis people across the globe. Lets all keep on playing this sport we love and I look forward to more success in the future.”

 

Li Xiaoxia was named the 2013 Female Table Tennis Star.

Li Xiaoxia was named the 2013 Female Table Tennis Star.

Li, 25, won the first Female Table Tennis Star presented by Vision Magazine Dubai, having won last year’s World Championships after winning Olympic gold at London 2012.

 

“Thank you everyone for their support, especially Chinese table tennis,” Li said.

 

“I am very honored to win this prestigious award, especially as it is the first one in history. I will try my best in the future to bring more success.”

 

Ma Long and Liu Shiwen, both of China, were taken by surprise when GAC Motor presented them each with keys to a new Trumpchi GA3 after ending 2013 as the men’s and women’s World No. 1 respectively.

 

Liu, 22, also won the Fan’s Female Table Tennis Star presented by Nittaku, her popularity increasing with a third World Cup victory last year.

 

 Ma Long (left) and Liu Shiwen (middle) each earned a Trumpchi GA3 after ending 2013 as World No. 1.

Ma Long (left) and Liu Shiwen (middle) each earned a Trumpchi GA3 after ending 2013 as World No. 1.

China’s Ma Lin capped off a memorable 2013 by becoming the Para Male Table Tennis Star presented by Tinsue. Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist, unbeaten since she won the London 2012 Paralympics, was crowned the Para Female Table Tennis Star presented by Stag International.

 

The ITTF Athletes Commission selected the Male and Female Table Tennis Star nominees, while the winners were chosen by the ITTF Star Awards Selection Commission, comprising a representative from the ITTF Athletes Commission, ITTF Para Division and Adham Sharara, President of the ITTF.

 

The ITTF Para Division chose the Para Table Tennis Stars nominees before the ITTF Star Awards Selection Commission selected the winners. Over 80,000 people visited ITTF.com/StarAwards to vote for the fan awards.

 

The ITTF Star Awards raised US$246,000 for ITTF’s corporate social responsibility programme, Dream Building, which will be used for Para Table Tennis, Development and Junior Table Tennis initiatives.

 

2013 ITTF Star Awards Winners

Winners and nominees at the inaugural ITTF Star Awards at Raffles Hotel Dubai in the UAE.

Winners and nominees at the inaugural ITTF Star Awards at Raffles Hotel Dubai.

Male Table Tennis Star presented by Ping Pong Dubai: Zhang Jike (China)

Female Table Tennis Star presented by Vision Magazine Dubai: Li Xiaoxia (China)

Para Male Table Tennis Star presented by Tinsue: Ma Lin (China)

Para Female Table Tennis Star presented by Stag International: Anna-Carin Ahlquist (Sweden)

Fans’ Male Table Tennis Star presented by TMS International: Zhang Jike (China)

Fans’ Female Table Tennis Star presented by Nittaku: Liu Shiwen (China)

Table Tennis Star Rally presented by TMS International: Timo Boll (Germany) at 2013 World Table Tennis Championships

 

Source: ITTF

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