Table tennis: England four's Olympic lure

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Table tennis

Four of England's leading players will attempt to win places at this year's Olympic Games in the European qualifying tournament at the Nynex Arena, Manchester, today.

Andrea Holt, Lisa Lomas and Alison Broe, plus the men's No 1, Matthew Syed, go into the five-day event hoping to secure one of the 20 singles places for Atlanta.

The 1991 world champion, Jorgen Persson of Sweden, will pose the main threat to Syed, with Steffen Fetzner, of Germany - beaten by Syed in the European League last month - and Andrei Mazunov, of Russia, also contenders.

Competing for places against the three English women will be Olga Nemes, now of Germany, but a former European women's champion for Romania.

The players will compete in two series of groups over the first three days. Those qualifying for the final groups stand the best chances of being among the 10 men and 10 women who will receive invitations to Atlanta.