The Russian Table Tennis Federation and the city of Moscow will make a real rehearsal for the 2010 World Championships in middle October, when �Druzhba� Sports Hall inside the famous Luzhniki Complex is ready to welcome the participants of the LIEBHERR 2009 Men�s World Cup.
The traditional world title event introduces a new format this year. The number of players is increased from 16 to 19. Beside the six continental representatives and the host nation�s best player, the top 11 players are invited according to the September World Ranking and the world�s No.1 junior (U-18) player completes the list as one of the Wild Card selections.
The players� list is illustrious and colourful. China, Germany, Japan and Korea can make use of the maximum quota of 2 players per association. Ma Long from China is the highest ranked contender, No.2 on the latest ranking, while Oceania�s representative, Robert Frank could be very proud to compete at such an event listed as No.588 at the moment.
New winner after two years
In 2009 the door is open for challengers, because the hero of the last two years, Wang Hao who was unbeaten at the World Cups in 2007 and in 2008 will miss the tournament this year. The newly crowned world champion needs a rest after a tiring long season. However, China looks still very strong with Ma Long and Chen Qi on board. Timo Boll who is recovering slowly from his back injury had an unbelievable run four years ago when he took the title in Liege beating three Chinese opponents on route to victory. The younger generation is also strongly represented by Ma Long, the German No.2 Dimitrij Ovtcharov and the freshly crowned Korean Open champion, Jun Mizutani, as well as another �wonder boy� from Japan, Kenta Matsudaira who was a Junior World Champion at the age of 15 and extended the Olympic Champion Ma Lin to a seven-games match at the H.I.S. World Championships in Yokohama. The only player who has a singles World Championships title under his belt is the Austrian legend, Werner Schlager.
Intercontinental Cup is launched
The playing system has been modified compared to the previous years. Instead of drawing all players in groups in the first stage, the competition will start with the Intercontinental Cup. The four continental representatives from Africa, Latin America, North America and Oceania will compete in one group, and the winner of the Intercontinental Cup will qualify to the next stage of the event, joining the other 15 players.
The LIEBHERR Men�s World Cup is offering US$150,000 in prize money.
You will find attached :
- the Prospectus/Invitation (PDF) about the event with the schedule included.
- the Travel/accommodation form (XLS) to be sent back to the Russian Federation not later than : 25th September, 2009
- the Visa form (XLS).