The ITTF has hailed the Rio 2016 test event as a success with only minor improvements required ahead of next year's Games ©ITTF

Upgrading the lighting and installing better air conditioning were highlighted by International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President Thomas Weikert as the two main improvements required at the Riocentro Pavilion following the conclusion of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games table tennis test event.

The Aquece Rio competition, which featured men’s and women’s singles as well as team events, was widely heralded as a success by both the ITTF and Rio 2016.

Britain’s Paul Drinkhall, the only non-South American to take part, won men’s singles gold while hosts Brazil swept the rest of the titles, with Lin Gui clinching the women’s singles crown.

The host nation then went on to seal both men’s and women’s team gold and Brazil will be hoping for another strong display during the table tennis competition at next year’s Games, which runs from August 6 to 17 ahead of the Closing Ceremony on August 21.

“During the past four days, my colleagues and I have gone through all aspects of the Olympic Games event with the Rio 2016 team,” Weikert, who was elected as ITTF President last year, said.

“We are pleased with the progress and the conditions here in Riocentro and we are confident that we will have an amazing Olympic Games next year.

“We just need to work with our Rio colleagues to improve the lighting and to install proper air-conditioning for the Games time.”

Caroline Kumahara was part of the Brazilian trio which finished as runners-up in the team event
Caroline Kumahara was part of the Brazilian trio which finished as runners-up in the team event ©ITTF

At the request of Rio 2016, the Riocentro venue, located next to the Olympic and Paralympic Village and within five minutes’ walk of the Olympic Park, featured a green floor to represent the main colour of the Brazilian flag.

The innovation was well received among the players and ITTF marketing director Steve Dainton was pleased with how the facility is looking ahead of the Games.

“The new green floor from supplier company Tinsue looked great on TV and worked well with the table colour from San Ei and got positive feedback from the players,” he said.

The team competition came to the fore on the final day and Thiago Monteiro, Cazuo Matsumoto and Eric Jouti secured gold for Brazil thanks to a 3-1 victory over compatriots Humberto Manhani, Massao Kohatsu and Jeff Yamada.

"I was the reserve at the London Olympic Games; here I saw a venue of equal quality," Matsumoto said.

"The green floor, the table; everything reflects Brazil."

The women’s event was also an all-Brazilian affair as Leticia Nakada, Ligia Silva and Jessica Yamada proved too strong for teammates Lin, Caroline Kumahara and Bruna Takahashi, clinching gold by virtue of a 3-1 success. 

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