50 Day Countdown Until 2015 ITTF Women's World Cup BeginsPhoto: ITTF
One of the marque events on the ITTF calendar, the 2015 ITTF Women's World Cup, is just 50 days away!
The 2015 Women's World Cup will take place from 30 October to 1 November 2015 in Sendai, Japan, the same city that was devastated by a tsunami in 2011.
Only 20 of the world's best women's table tennis players are invited to play in the Women's World Cup. 17 of them have qualified through their respective Continental Cups, plus the current World Champion, a host country player, and a wildcard.
Current world champion DING Ning will miss the event to finally get over the ankle sprain she sustained in the dramatic World Championships final this year. This means that the woman she defeated in that historic final, LIU Shiwen, will be the favorite to win a remarkable fourth Women's World Cup, which would equal the record currently held by ZHANG Yining.
The sold-out crowd will be fully behind the local Japanese due of Kasumi ISHIKAWA and Ai FUKUHARA who are world ranked number four and five respectively, and will be expected to be pushing for the title on 1 November 2015. Both of the Japanese stars have been the stand out performers on the GAC Group 2015 World Tour, so this will give them the confidence to lift the cup in front of their home crowd.
The full list of 20 players that have qualified for one of the biggest shows in table tennis are:
MESHREF Dina (EGY) - African Cup Winner
FENG Tianwei (SIN) - Asian Cup Winner
KUMAHARA Caroline (BRA) - Latin American Cup Winner
ZHANG Mo (CAN) - North American Cup Winner
LAY Jian Fang (AUS) - Oceania Cup Winner
LIU Jia (AUT) - Europe Cup Winner
LIU Shiwen (CHN) - Asian Cup 2nd place
ZHU Yuling (CHN) - Asian Cup 3rd place
SOLJA Petrissa (GER) - Europe Cup 2nd place
IVANCAN Irene (GER) - Europe Cup 3rd place
FUKUHARA Ai (JPN) - Asian Cup 4th place
ISHIKAWA Kasumi (JPN) - Asian Cup 5th place
SEO Hyowon (KOR) - Asian Cup 6th place
DOO Hoi Kem (HKG) - Asian Cup 7th place
LI Jiao (NED) - Europe Cup 4th place
HU Melek (TUR) - Europe Cup 5th place
POTA Georgina (HUN) - Europe Cup 6th place
LI Jie (NED) - Europe Cup 9th place
CHENG I-Ching (TPE) - Asian Cup 8th place
YANG Haeun (KOR) - Wild card