Ma_Long_Jan_24January 24 – China's world table tennis champions, Ma Long (pictured) and Guo Yan, will get a rousing reception from their fellow countrymen when they arrive in Sheffield for the English Open table tennis championship on Wednesday (January 26).

More than a third of the tickets sold have been snapped up by the local Chinese community and finals weekend at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) is almost a sell-out.

"Finals weekend is always the big attraction, but to be virtually sold out a week in advance is a really big bonus," said tournament director Mike Holt, who spearheaded the last English Open in 2009 which was voted the best ITTF Pro Tour that year.

"At least a third of all tickets sold have been to the local Chinese community.

"They are keen followers of the sport and with their heroes in town they clearly didn't want to miss the opportunity of seeing them close at hand."

The ITTF Pro Tour English Open runs at the EIS from January 26-30.

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