The trio will join other leading European players who have not yet qualified, with five male and five female players set to book their places by performing well at the competition in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Liam Pitchford will not be taking part in the event, but is expected to qualify through his current world ranking.

A total of 48 men and 44 women are competing and will start in group stages, with 12 groups in each gender being played on Wednesday and Thursday.

Tin-Tin Ho was the number 23 seed and has been drawn into Group C of the Women’s Singles Stage 1 draw, along with third seed, Maria Xiao of Spain and Austria’s Karoline Mischek (26), Ho’s long-time doubles partner, with whom she won the European under-21 gold medal in 2019. The fourth spot has been given as a bye.

Anna Hursey, seeded 16, has been drawn into Group I with Ivana Malobabic of Croatia (9), Marina Donner of Finland (34), and Harisa Mesetovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (36).

In the Men’s Singles Stage 1 draw, Paul Drinkhall, seeded 10th, was drawn into Group J with Italy’s Niagol Stoyanov (15), Latvia’s Daniels Kogans (36), and Switzerland’s Elias Hardmeier (37).

The winners and runners-up from each group will go into Stage 2, while those in third and fourth positions will be eliminated.

Stage 2 – played on Friday and Saturday morning – is knockout format. In both men’s and women’s competitions, those athletes who reach the finals will qualify for the Paris Olympics this summer. The finals will not actually be played.

All the players from Stage 2, apart from the two finalists, will then go into Stage 3, played on Saturday and Sunday.

Again, it is knockout and, again, the two athletes reaching the finals will qualify for Paris, and the final will not be played. However, the two beaten semi-finalists will face one more match, against each other, with the winner qualifying and the loser being eliminated.

Once all continents have played their qualifying tournaments, further places in Paris will be decided from the World Rankings, at the beginning of June.

Tin-Tin, who played her first Olympics in Tokyo under covid restrictions, said: “I’m feeling excited. It’s a good challenge and I’m grateful and happy I can have the opportunity to try and qualify.

“It was really cool to be part of the Team GB set up in Tokyo. It was during covid, so unfortunately I had to leave early when I finished. Obviously it would be nice to be in a non-covid Olympics, I’d love to do it again.

“Last time, I qualified by ranking, so I was one of the last to get in. Just finding out my spot was accepted and it was all really happening, was a really good moment.”

With play scheduled to begin on Wednesday 15th May, here are the planned start times for all of our athletes in Stage 1 (times are given in GMT):

Wednesday 15th May

P. Drinkhall (GBR) vs D. Kogans (LAT) – 11:00, Table 2

A. Hursey (GBR) vs H. Mesetovic (BIH) – 14:20, Table 4

P. Drinkhall (GBR) vs N. Stoyanov (ITA) – 18:30, Table 4

Thursday 16th May

T. Ho (GBR) vs M. Xiao (ESP) – 08:30, Table 3

A. Hursey (GBR) vs I. Malobabic (CRO) – 10:10, Table 1

P. Drinkhall (GBR) vs E. Hardmeier (SUI) – 14:20, Table 4.

T. Ho (GBR) vs K. Mischek (AUT) – 16:00, Table 3

A. Hursey (GBR) vs M. Donner (FIN) – 17:40, Table 1

Matches will be available to watch on ETTU.TV.