Lausanne, Feb 26, 2015: China’s MA Long and Germany’s Timo BOLL have announced that they will be playing doubles together at the Qoros 2015 World Table Tennis Championships to be held in Suzhou, China from 26 April to 3 May 2015.
MA and BOLL are the first high profile mixed association doubles pair to be entered after the ITTF AGM approved this concept in 2014.
After the announcement, an excited Timo BOLL stated: “I’m very much looking forward playing doubles with my friend MA Long in Suzhou. At the China Open in Changchun 2 years ago, we already had a lot of fun playing side by side. At World Championships in China, just 1 year ahead of the Olympics, it is a big honor for me to play doubles with MA Long. Our playing styles fit together well. I play with high, variable rotation and focus on placement, while he plays much more powerful with perfect and hard shots”.
Indeed, the Chinese world number two and the German former world number one will form a dream pair in Suzhou, as their right and left hand combination will complement each other perfectly.
26 year old MA Long, who will also be looking to win his maiden singles title in Suzhou, added: “I am really happy to have the chance to pair up with Timo again, especially for such a prestigious event like the World Championships. We played doubles previously during the World Tour, which we won, so I’m really looking forward to playing with him in Suzhou this time round.”
As stated by the former world number one Timo BOLL, the two superstars of international table tennis have played together once before, at the GAC Group 2013 World Tour China Open, where they became champions. Ever since that moment, the world has been talking about them playing together at the World Championships, and now in Suzhou, they have their wish granted.
ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT echoed the fans’ anticipation for the fantasy pairing: “When the AGM took the decision that players from different associations were allowed to form doubles pairs, we were thinking of such a perfect match like Timo BOLL and MA Long. Such combinations stimulate our sport and beyond all competition strengthen the good international relations between our national associations”.
Other interesting mixed association pairs to be on show in Suzhou are:
• Marcos FREITAS (POR) & Andrej GACINA (CRO) – Winners of the GAC Group 2015 World Tour Qatar Open
• Tan RUIWU (CRO) & WANG Zeng Yi (POL) – Winners of the 2013 European Championships
• LIU Jia (AUT) & IVETA Vacenovska (CZE) – Play for the same club in Linz, Austria
• LI Jie (NED) & LI Qian (POL)
The full entry list for the 53rd World Table Tennis Championships will be released next week.
The Qoros 2015 World Table Tennis Championships will be held at the Suzhou Exhibition Hall in Suzhou, China from 26 April to 3 May 2015. There will be five gold medals on offer at the world premier table tennis event:
• Men’s Singles (holder: ZHANG Jike – China)
• Women’s Singles (holder: LI Xiaoxia – China)
• Men’s Doubles (holders: CHUANG Chih-Yuan & Chen Chien-An – Chinese Taipei)
• Women’s Doubles (holders: GUO Yue & LI Xiaoxia – China)
• Mixed Doubles (holders: KIM Hyok-Bong & KIM Jong – North Korea).
The Qoros 2015 World Table Tennis Championships is expected to be the most viewed table tennis event of all time, with record TV audience, online viewing, social media presence and media accreditations expected in Suzhou. —- ITTF