Lausanne, Aug 13, 2013: The 20 players invited to compete in the STARTS 2013 ITTF Women’s World Cup, to be held in Kobe, Japan on 21-23 September 2013, has been revealed by the International Table Tennis Federation.
The world’s best female Table Tennis players have battled through qualifications for the past 4 months to gain a ticket into one of the most prestigious table tennis event in the world.
Apart from the reigning ITTF World Champion who gains direct qualification, and one wildcard selected by the ITTF, the only way to gain access into this exclusive event is to qualify through the ITTF Continental Cups, with a different quota allocated to each continent based on the ITTF World Ranking.
World and Olympic Champion LI Xiaoxia will be the favorite to clinch gold in Kobe, which would complete her career grand slam, achieved by winning the Olympic, World Championships and World Cup titles in a row.
Olympic silver medalist and world number 10 Kasumi ISHIKAWA who qualified by finishing 3rd at the Asian Cup will shoulder the local hopes at the ITTF World Cup, held for the first time in Japan: ” I am very glad to participate for STARTS Women’s World Cup which will be held the first time in Japan” stated the 20 year old.
“I urge the Japanese public to come to the venue and cheer us on. The more people there will lift my spirits and help me play better.”
The other 18 women who have qualified for the Women’s World Cup and will join LI Xiaoxia and Kasumi ISHIKAWA in the land of the rising sun are:
• HAN Xing (CGO) African Cup Winner
• LIU Shiwen (CHN2) Asian Cup Winner
• WU Xue (DOM) Latin American Cup Winner
• ZHANG Lily (USA) North American Cup Winner
• MIAO Miao (AUS) Oceania Cup Winner
• SEOK Hajung (KOR) Asian Cup 4th place
• JIANG Huajun (HKG) Asian Cup 5th place
• FENG Tianwei (SIN) Asian Cup 6th place
• YANG Haeun (KOR) Asian Cup 7th place
• YU Mengyu (SIN) Asian Cup 8th place
• HSING Ariel (USA) North American Cup 2nd place
• LI Chunli (NZL) Oceania Cup 2nd place
• SILVA Yadira (MEX) Latin American Cup 2nd place
• LIU Jia (AUT) Europe (QF WTTC)
• HU Melek (TUR) Europe (QF WTTC)
• SHEN Yanfei (ESP) Europe (last 16 WTTC)
• BILENKO Tetyana (UKR) Europe (last 16 WTTC)
• Ai FURUHARA (JPN) ITTF Wildcard
With such a stellar field, the interest in this Women’s World Cup is immense, with at least 17 TV networks across the World broadcasting it live or delayed:
• TV Tokyo (Japan)
• One World Sport (USA & Canada)
• Skynet (Myanmar)
• TDM (Macau)
• Starhub (Singapore)
• I-Cable (Hong Kong)
• GMM Grammy (Thailand)
• GDTV (China)
• CCTV (China)
• Al Jazeera Sports (MENA)
• ELTA (Taiwan)
• Astro (Malaysia)
• Perform – News (Worldwide)
• Fox Sports Asia – News (Asia)
• EBU – News (EBU Members)
• Fox Sports Australia (Australia)
• TV One (Indonesia)
In the first phase of this three-day event, players that are seeded 9 to 20 compete in four groups of three players. The players finishing in first place in each of the four groups advance to the second phase, where they join the top eight seeded players.
In the second phase which also consist of group matches, players finishing in first and second places in each of the four groups progresses to the quarterfinals where the knockout begins until we have the ITTF World Cup Champion. —- ITTF