Olympic Team Hosted at Grand Opening of HITTA – Houston, Texas

By Matt Hetherington/USATT | July 26, 2016, 6:28 p.m. (ET)

Olympic Team Hosted at Grand Opening of HITTA – Houston, Texas

As the US Olympic Team descended on Houston, Texas for their final Olympic preparation for the 2016 Rio Games, a new professional academy was opening its doors to the public and media for the first time. The brand new HITTA – Houston International Table Tennis Academy hosted the team for its Grand Opening. What's special about this club? It is the investment of two time Olympian Timothy Wang.

The new venue located in Houston, Texas opened its doors for a special Grand Opening event. The club headed by reputable coach Wang Hui along with Jin Yixiong and a number of other top coaches set the scene for a promising future for table tennis development in the area. 

The US Olympic Table Tennis Team arrived early for morning practice and it wasn't long before players arrived from around the area, some driving more than one hour to come and join in the excitement. With high quality blue rubber flooring and brand new Butterfly tables, the fresh looking club really looks the part.

The afternoon saw local and national media gather to take their final opportunities to see the Olympians before they head to Brazil on August 1st. After over an hour of media attention it was time for the team to play a special exhibition for hundreds of fans who had some to see the event. Coach Massimo Constantini and USATT CEO Gordon Kaye proved to be entertaining MCs for the spectacle as the Olympians clashed against each other and then surprised onlookers with a triples showdown, 3 vs. 3 as all 6 Rio Olympians hit center court. 

As the exhibition heated up the soft buzzing of a camera drone could be heard flying overheard and an entertained crowd with some great rallies and hilarious commentary. 

Following the exhibition the club opened up for a free kids training session with a handful of their best coaches, showing that the club is more than ready to start working on the development of young players in the Texas State.

All in all a very successful event, USATT wishes the best of luck to HITTA and looks forward to seeing  some promising young players coming out of the club in the future. No doubt with Olympian Timothy Wang focusing his post-Rio efforts into the development of the club it is bound to be a great venture.

The Olympic Team will train in Houston at Texas Table Tennis Training Center for the week until they depart for Rio, you can keep up with all the pictures, videos and live streams from training on the USA Table Tennis Facebook Page!