By David Gold

hallen_14_09_11September 29 - Germany's Sebastian Hallen (pictured) and former Irish international Jonathan Cowan have been selected by the International Table Tennis Federation as commentators following an exhaustive search.

The ITTF trawled the globe for talented voices and the public were given the opportunity to record their skills on a pre-recorded match and submit a sound bite.

The role was created to help fill the needs of the itTV online video portal for the ITTF, and cover an increasing number of games.

Cowan and Hallen will get the opportunity to show their skills next when they commentate on the Liebherr World Team Cup in Magdeburg in Germany at the start of November alongside veteran Don Parker.

"After an exhaustive and intensive process from the overwhelming number of entries, we are pleased to finally announce the winners of the ITTF Voice of table tennis competition", said Steve Dainton, the ITTF marketing director.

"Thank you to all those that participated, we were very impressed with the level of entries that we received.

"It was truly was a difficult job to find the best so we decided to give two exceptional candidates an opportunity.

"My congratulations go to Sebastian and Jonathan, we wish them the best of luck in their debut and who knows; they may even join our team of professional table tennis commentators."

Hallen was delighted and said: "I had my phone set to alarm me when there was a message from the ITTF, but I had failed to factor in the time difference between me [living in Germany] and the ITTF office [in Singapore] so the email woke me up in the middle of the night!

"When I read that I had won I literally jumped out of my bed and danced around the room; I felt as if I had won the World Team Cup myself and I needed to celebrate my victory but it was in the middle of the night!"

Cowan was similarly ecstatic, and said: "I was delighted when I received the news that I would have the opportunity to commentate in Germany.

"Not only does it enhance my comeback to the table tennis arena since my retirement from competing after the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006, it is great to be part of the worldwide efforts to continue to develop and promote table tennis."

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