MORE than 60 players will be battling for a dozen trophies at the Clacton and District Table Tennis League’s Closed Championships.
The event is the climax of the season and the most prestigious cup competition on the league’s calander.
It takes place on Saturday and Sunday, from 9.30am, at the Coastal Academy Sports Hall.
In the men’s singles, reigning champion Kevin Gowlett will be aiming for a fourth title, but will have to overcome a strong challenge from last year’s beaten finalist, James Denyer, and former champions Greg Green and Colin Stallwood.
The men’s doubles will also be keenly-contested.
Title-holders James Denyer and Felipe Rodriguez and last year’s surprise runners-up, Gary Cattermole and John Pattrick, head a field that also includes Kevin Gowlett and Peter Burrows.
Greg Green and Colin Stallwood will also be battling for honours, having won the title seven times between them, although never playing together.
With no Sue Welham, Gill Locke is the clear favourite to take the ladies’ singles crown for a third year running, with the main challenge coming from two-time champion Annabelle Rodriguez and, if she can replicate her form of the 2012 championships, last season’s unexpected finalist Sandie Isaac.
“The Closed Championships are the climax of our season,” said league press officer Tony Oswick.
“Sixty-six players will be competing for honours this year.
“The players are spread among all three of the league’s divisions, with the ages of competitors ranging from 12 years to over 80.
“With 37 entrants, the men’s singles is the most keenly-contested event.
“Kevin Gowlett will be looking for a fourth title, a success that would move him to equal-third place on the all-time list of Clacton men’s champions behind Ken Gladwell and Derek Wood and alongside David Binns.
“But he’ll face a stern challenge from 2009 winner Colin Stallwood, Greg Green, who won the title in 2010 and 2011, and who is unbeaten in the league this season, and last year’s runner-up, talented 17-year-old James Denyer.
“Once again, we’re grateful for the generous support of our main sponsor, Paul Newbould Planning and Building Services, now in their 21st year of supporting the tournament.”
The finals of the seven minor events will take place after 2.30pm on Saturday, with the finals of the five major events scheduled for approximately 3.30pm on Sunday.
Admission is free and all spectators are welcome.
Light refreshments will be available.