OVTCHAROV leads European challengePhoto: ITTF
Invitation List Released for LIEBHERR 2016 Men's World Cup
With Rio 2016 now just a nice memory, the table tennis world looks forward to the Liebherr 2016 ITTF Men's World Cup to be held in Saarbrucken, Germany on 1-3 October 2016.
All 20 players invited to the prestigious event in Germany competed at Rio 2016, and have earned their place at the show piece event through Continental Cup qualification events throughout 2016, plus the current World Champion & a wildcard.
China's newly crowned Olympic Champion and Men's World Cup defending Champion MA Long heads the invitation list as the reigning World Champion, together with 2013 Champion XU Xin (CHN), and three time champion, 40-year-old Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR).
World number five Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) will lead the local German contingent in Saarbrucken alongside Bastin STEGER (GER), the man he won the Rio 2016 team bronze with.
Jun MIZUTANI (JPN) who played the tournament of his life to win singles bronze and team silver at Rio 2016 will also be making the trip to Germany. MIZUTANI will be hoping to repeat his victory over XU Xin at Rio 2016 to bring home another medal to Japan.
Based on his brilliant performance at Rio 2016, where he became extremely close to beating both Grand Slam Champions MA Long and ZHANG Jike (CHN), JEONG Youngsik (KOR) takes the wildcard place.
The full list of invited players for the Liebherr 2016 Men's World Cup:
MA Long (CHN) - World Champion
ARUNA Quadri (NGR) - African Cup Winner
XU Xin (CHN) - Asian Cup Winner
CALDERANO Hugo (BRA) - Latin American Cup Winner
FENG Yijun (USA) - North American Cup Winner
POWELL David (AUS) - Oceania Cup Winner
OVTCHAROV Dimitrij (GER) - European Cup Winner
WONG Chun Ting (HKG) - Asian Cup 3rd place (2nd Qualifier)
GAO Ning (SIN) - Asian Cup 4th place (3rd Qualifier)
MONTEIRO Joao (POR) - European Cup 2nd place (2nd Qualifier)
SHIBAEV Alexander (RUS) - European Cup 3rd place (3rd Qualifier)
MIZUTANI Jun (JPN) - Asian Cup 5th place
LEE Sangsu (KOR) - Asian Cup 6th place
KARLSSON Kristian (SWE) - European Cup 4th place
SAMSONOV Vladimir (BLR) - European Cup 5th place
FEGERL Stefan (AUT) - European Cup 6th place
APOLONIA Tiago (POR) - European Cup 7th place
STEGER Bastian (GER) - European Cup 8th place
GAUZY Simon (FRA) - European Cup 9th place
JEOUNG Youngsik (KOR) - Wildcard