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Table Tennis: Zen-Noh sponsor 2014 World Team Championships in Japan

Japan men’s player Kenta Matsudaira (second left) and Japan’s Olympic silver-medal winning women’s team Sayaka Hirano (left), Kasumi Ishikawa (second right) and Ai Fukuhara (right) holding miniature traditional rice containers made of straw, a symbol of Zen-Noh. Photo: JTTA.

Japan men’s player Kenta Matsudaira (second left) and Japan’s Olympic silver-medal winning women’s team Sayaka Hirano (left), Kasumi Ishikawa (second right) and Ai Fukuhara (right) holding miniature traditional rice containers made of straw, a symbol of Zen-Noh. Photo: JTTA.

2014_Japan_Table_Tennis_Team_ChampsOctober 19, 2013: Zen-Noh has been announced as the title sponsor of the 2014 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships, which will be held in Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan, from April 28-May 5.

 

The World Team Championship’s logo (pictured left) was also announced during the unveiling ceremony. The logo was designed to symbolise the synergy between table tennis and the Japanese culture.

 

Zen-Noh, the National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations, is a federation of agricultural cooperatives in Japan whose main business is farm production, livestock and processed food. Zen-Noh is also currently sponsoring Japanese women’s star Kasumi Ishikawa, currently ranked World No. 9.

 

Adham Sharara, President of the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation), said: “It is encouraging to see the preparations for the World Championships in Tokyo being at a very advanced stage. This gives the ITTF confidence that another great event will be staged by the Japan Table Tennis Association.

 

“I take this opportunity to welcome Zen-Noh as the title sponsor and I am sure that they will be more than satisfied with the tremendous exposure they will receive through worldwide TV coverage.”

 

Masanobu Yoshinaga, Senior Executive Vice-President of Zen-Noh, said: “We are honored to be the title sponsor of Zen-Noh 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships.

 

“Zen-Noh has been supporting children who are striving for their dreams in the various sports for a long time. We hope that by seeing the championships, many children will be inspired to start playing table tennis in the pursuit of 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

 

Koji Kimura, Vice President of the Japanese Table Tennis Association, added: “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Zen-Noh, who kindly accepted the title sponsorship for the Zen-Noh 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships. Table tennis players and fans in Japan have special feelings and a preference for team table tennis, so it should be a great event.”

 

Japan are expected to be among the top contenders at the World Team Championships, as their men’s team are currently ranked World No. 3 and their women’s team won huge popularity after winning silver at the 2012 Olympics.

 

Japanese superstar Ai Fukuhara, the World No. 14, believes the team can go one step higher on the podium when they compete in Tokyo next year.

 

“I am looking forward to getting together with my teammates,” she said. “We will all do our best to do better than we did at London.”

 

Kenta Matsudaira of the men’s team was also confident of a strong home showing. “There will naturally be a great, supportive atmosphere towards Japanese players and I want to win the gold,” he said. “I also want to bring the hopes to the people in the disaster area affected by the earthquake.”

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