“We are back,” Steve Dainton, CEO of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), merely put it when mentioning that followers are returning to the venue.
As part of the ITTF #RESTART sequence, the 2020 ITTF Finals is underway from Thursday to Sunday on the Zhengzhou Olympic Sports Center in central China’s Henan province, experiences Xinhua information company.
It marks the primary worldwide event that’s staged in China with spectators on-site for the reason that coronavirus outbreak.
“Hearing the cheers of the audience and seeing everyone waving passionately, a long-lost sense of familiarity returned,” mentioned World Table Tennis (WTT) Council Chair Liu Guoliang.
“Our players are back on the playing field, and this time, our fans are also back in the house,” Liu, President of the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA), famous.
“We have seen many international events played without spectators, which is kind of different. The atmosphere may not be that good,” Dainton identified. “When they applaud and cheer for you, you feel this is the real competition.”
During the Finals, Yao Zhiying, a desk tennis fan aged round 60, got here to the venue day-after-day to help the Chinese workforce.
“I haven’t been watching games on site for a long time. Now I can fully unleash my strength to cheer for them,” mentioned Yao, a member of the native desk tennis affiliation.
It has been 10 months since Dong Yanan was sitting within the venue to observe dwell desk tennis. “It feels so different when you are on site or in front of the TV,” Dong admitted.
“You feel nervous at some crucial points, you offer players encouragement when they are in adversities, you cheer for them for their excellent performance. It feels so great.”
Dong hopes that extra sports activities occasions can convey followers again within the close to future. Obviously, it isn’t a straightforward activity.
According to Chinese desk tennis chief Liu, “Every event we delivered and every result we achieved brings the world of competitive sports one step closer to being free to play.”
“Behind all this is the firm belief of everyone in the table tennis family: no winter is invincible; no spring is forever lost,” the game’s legend added.