Superstar ZHANG Jike Heads LIEBHERR 2013

Lausanne, Sept 14, 2013: The 20 players invited to compete in the LIEBHERR 2013 ITTF Men’s World Cup, to be held in Verviers, Belgium on 25-27 September 2013, has been announced by the International Table Tennis Federation.

The world’s best male Table Tennis players representing each continent battled through qualification for the past 5 months to gain a ticket into one of the most prestigious table tennis event on the planet.

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.

The hottest player in world table tennis right now, ZHANG Jike (CHN), will go into the Men’s World Cup looking to create history, by being the first man to win 2 World Championships (2011 & 2013), Olympic gold (2012) and a World Cup in a row.

Such is the 24-year-old’s success that he is in a world of his own, which he recently stated himself: “I don’t have any idols. I never had any idols in any field. I am my own idol.” Can he live up to his own expectations in Verviers to secure the historic gold?

The Olympic & World Champion will face a barrage of competition from Europe, in particular Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR) who know how to win the Men’s World Cup, after clinching gold 3 times.

“I can’t wait to play in the Men’s World Cup again,” stated the 37 year old. “It is always special to play in Belgium, the country where I played 8 years long for La Villette Charleroi, where me and my family have so many friends, the country where our kids are born. It will be a dream come true to add the 4th gold!”

The local crowd will be flocking to the Hall du Paire to get a glimpse of local living legend Jean-Michal SAIVE who is competing in his 19th Men’s World Cup, which could be possible his last.

A thrilled SAIVE stated: “I’m so exited to play a 19th world cup, the fact that it will be in my country, in front of my fans, the fans that supported me over my 30 years of career.

I’ve been called “the fighter” all my career, it will not change during this event, and who knows, in front of all my country I will maybe be able to make a miracle and win a dream title.

I already know that it will be a huge and important success for table tennis in Belgium and that’s the most important thing.”

The full list of the Men heading to Verviers are:

• ZHANG Jike (CHN) World Champion

• LASHIN El-Sayed (EGY) African Cup Winner

• XU Xin (CHN) Asian Cup Winner

• MONTEIRO Thiago (BRA) Latin American Cup Winner

• HO Andre (CAN) North American Cup Winner

• HENZELL William (AUS) Oceania Cup Winner

• CHUANG Chih-Yuan (TPE) Asian Cup 3rd place

• ALAMIYAN Noshad (IRI) Asian Cup 4th place

• TANG Peng (HKG) Asian Cup 5th place

• KIM Hyok Bong (PRK) Asian Cup 6th place

• CHEN Chien-An (TPE) Asian Cup 7th place

• JIANG Tianyi (HKG) Asian Cup 8th place

• YANG Zi (SIN) Asian Cup 9th/10th place

• ACHANTA Sharath Kamal (IND) Asian Cup 9th/10th place

• BOLL Timo (GER) Europe (QF WTTC)

• BAUM Patrick (GER) Europe (QF WTTC)

• SAMSONOV Vladimir (BLR) Europe (last 16 WTTC)

• FREITAS Marcos (POR) Europe (last 16 WTTC)

• SAIVE Jean Michel (BEL) Host player

• OVTCHAROV Dimitrij (GER) Wild card

With the best table tennis players in the world taking part in the Men’s World Cup, at least 16 TV networks, with a reach of over 110 countries will be broadcasting it live or delayed:

• Eurosport (Worldwide)

• One World Sport (USA & Caribbean)

• 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)

• Foxsports (Australia)

• Perform – News (Worldwide)

• Fox Sports Asia – News (Asia)

• EBU – News (EBU Members)

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. —- Photo by ITTF

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