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Table Tennis: Chinese stars reach new high at Burj Al Arab in Dubai

The Chinese stars play mixed doubles atop the Burj Al Arab helipad. Photo: Naim Chidiac / Falcon and Associates.

The Chinese stars play mixed doubles atop the Burj Al Arab helipad. Photo: Naim Chidiac / Falcon and Associates.

January 22, 2014: World No. 1s Ma Long and Liu Shiwen joined an elite list of world top-ranked sport stars – including Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy – by playing on the private helipad of the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.

 

Located 212 metres above sea level, the Burj Al Arab helipad was transformed into a table tennis arena for the first time as Ma and Liu were joined by world and Olympic Champions Zhang Jike and Li Xiaoxia for a mixed doubles match.

 

Ma, runner-up at this month’s GAC Group World Tour Grand Final in Dubai, stated: “It was a great privilege for me and my teammates to follow in the footsteps of sporting greats like Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. Playing on the Burj Al Arab helipad was an unforgettable experience and the view of Dubai was incredible.”

 

Li, crowned the 2013 Female Table Tennis Star at the ITTF Star Awards in Dubai, added: “It was very fun! Although it was high up, it didn’t feel scary, just very windy. It was certainly an unreal experience.”

 

The luxurious Burj Al Arab is one of the world’s most iconic hotels and has the world’s largest atrium – big enough to fit the Statue of Liberty inside – world’s highest staff-to-suite ratio (8:1), world’s largest butler brigade and the world’s tallest all-suite hotel.

 

On the evening of the table tennis challenge, a special message – ‘China – Dubai: One Energy’ – was projected on to the Burj Al Arab sail to celebrate the growing ties between the emirate and China. The China table tennis team has been sponsored by Dubai since last January.

 

Source: ITTF

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