Asiad: Table tennis tickets so hot even world champs miss out

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The Independent Online

Tickets for the Asian Games table tennis tournament are in such high demand that a slew of former players and world champions have been told they cannot attend.

About 30 well-known Chinese players, including ex-world champion Zhang Xielin and former national team coach Zhuang Jiafu, wanted to buy tickets, only to be told that none were left, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Table tennis tickets are really in large demand," said Zhang Xiaopeng, director of competition at the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (GAGOC).
"All the tickets were sold out and no-one is able to get even one ticket."
The tournament is held from November 13-20 in the Guangzhou Stadium that seats 5,044.
According to another official from the same department, Guangzhou residents much prefer table tennis to basketball, another high popularity sport in China.
"The men's singles final ticket is priced at 400 yuan (60 dollars), more than the men's basketball final," said the official.
China has long dominated table tennis and they are expected to be all-powerful again at the Asian Games, although Singapore could slow the fearsome juggernaut.
Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong will also be competitive, but a Chinese clean-sweep is on the cards, particularly playing in front of a vociferous home crowd.
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