OVTCHAROV and HU Melek top Men`s and Women`s lists respectivelyPhoto: ITTF
Invitation for the 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup announced
Invitation for the 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup, 3-5 February, Antibes (FRA) are announced, with 32 names in both competitions altogether, plus reserve players. Current ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup winner Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and actual European champion and 2016 Top 16 runner-up HU Melek are on the top of lists, followed by Vladimir SAMSONOV and Petrissa SOLJA respectively.
Host audience will have a joy to see two finalists from the recent LIEBHERR 2016 ITTF European Championships, champion Emmanuel LEBESSON and runner-up Simon GAUZY.
Men`s invitation list promises fantastic event, bearing in mind that all 16 top European players are here: Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER, European No. 1), Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR, No. 2), Timo BOLL (GER, No. 3), Marcos FREITAS (POR, No. 4), Simon GAUZY (FRA, No. 5), Stefan FEGERL (AUT, No. 6), Bastian STEGER (GER, No. 7), Tiago APOLONIA (POR, No. 8), Kristian KARLSSON (SWE, No. 9), Andrej GACINA (CRO, No. 10), Mattias KARLSSON (SWE, No. 11), Emmanuel LEBESSON (FRA, No. 12), KOU Lei (UKR, No. 13), Joao MONTEIRO (POR, No. 14), Alexander SHIBAEV (RUS, No. 15), Jonathan GROTH (DEN, No. 16).
Last year`s Women`s champion SHEN Yanfei (Spain) decided to retire from the table tennis, but her name is still on the Invitation list due to regulations (European ranking from December 1st is valid). Newly crowned European champion HU Melek (Turkey, European No. 2), who finished behind best Spanish player in the latest Europe Top 16, will compete in Antibes.
Twelve out of 16 best ranked women`s players of Old Continent are on the Invitation list (top ranked HAN Ying are not among them). Beside HU Melek, they are: Petrissa SOLJA (GER, No. 3), Elizabeta SAMARA (ROU, No. 4), LIU Jia (AUT, No. 4), LI Jie (NED, No. 7), LI Qian (POL, No. 9), Georgina POTA (HUN, No. 10), Matilda EKHOLM (SWE, No. 11), LI Jiao (NED, No. 12), Sabine WINTER (GER, No. 13), SHEN Yanfei (ESP, No. 14), Polina MIKHAILOVA (RUS, No. 15), Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN (ROU, No. 17), Sofia POLCANOVA (AUT, No. 20), Viktoria PAVLOVICH (BLR, No. 21), while the 16th name on the list will be the best ranked French player.