World and European champions in the same groupPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
PERFECT 2016 World Team Championships
The draw for the PERFECT 2016 World Team Championships (28th February - 6th March) in the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur was held today.
Title holders, China are at the top of Group A in both Men's and Women's Teams Events. In Men's Event, European champions, team of Austria is with the World Champions, as well as Chinese Taipei, Greece, Czech Republic and Korea DPR. Silver medalists at the Old Continent, Germany are together with Sweden, France, Denmark, England, Malaysia. In Group C are Japan, Portugal, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Singapore. In Group D will play Korea Republic, Hong Kong, Russia, Croatia, Romania, Italy.
In Women's Teams Event China will face challenge from Chinese Taipei, Romania, Hungary, Spain and Malaysia. In Group B are: Japan, Germany, Korea DPR, Czech Republic, Thailand and Brayil. In Group C are Netherlands, Singapore, Poland, Ukraine, France, Belarus. IN Group D are: Hong Kong, Korea Republic, Austria, Russia, USA, Sweden.
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER), who swept Europe in 2015 to claim all major singles titles, stated "All teams are strong at the WorldChampionships, but we could have gotten stronger teams in the group stage. We have to be perfectly prepared of course, and all of us have to work harduntil the Championships to get inbettershape!"
5th seeded Portugal will be on its way to challenge Japan and the other teams in group C. World number 8 MarcosFRETS commented "It's a strong group, so it will be hard for Portugal, but our goal is to finish in the first 2 places."
In the women's draw, locals Malaysia has drawn a glamour fixture with World Champions China in group A, which will surely pack out the 5,000 capacity stadium.
2015 European Championships winnerElizabeth SAMARA will beleading her team against the strong competition in group A. The 26-year-old Romanian shared "We have a rather homogeneous group where we have strong opponents in every team that we will be playing against."
In Second division Men's Team in Group E will play Brazil, ran, Belgium, Netherlands, Thailand, Canada. In Group G will meet: Hungary, Egypt, Slovenia, Argentina, Mexico, Norway. In Group F: India, Slovak Republic, Nigeria, Vietnam, Switzerland, Turkey. In Group H: Spain, Serbia, Bulgaria, Australia, Latvia, Puerto Rico.
In Women's Second Division in Group E are: Serbia, England, Canada, Belgium, Turkey, New Zealand. In Group G: Croatia, India, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Portugal. In Group F are: Slovak Republic, Egypt, Lithuania, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico. In Group H Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece, Vietnam, Chile, Bulgaria.
A total of 94 outfits compete in the Men’s Team event, 84 in the counterpart Women’s Team competition. In each of the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events there are four divisions. There are 24 outfits in each of the top three divisions; in Men’s Division Four, there are 22 teams, in Women’s Division Four, there are 12 teams. Teams in the Championship Division are seeded no.1 to no.24; in Division Two from no.25 to no.48, in Division Three from no.49 to no.72 and in Division Four from no.73 onwards.
Malaysia, as the hosts, has accepted the option of a place in the Championship Division in both the Men’s and Women’s events. England and Italy are the promoted outfits in the Men’s event, in the Women’s event it is Brazil and Sweden. Initially, in each event there are four groups with six teams in each group; teams finishing the first three places in each group progress to the main draw, teams finishing in the latter three places compete for the lower positions. Fixtures in the second stage are based on the knock-out principle.
Seeding in every division is based on the World Team Ranking published for January 2016; the World Team Ranking for each national association is based on the three highest ranked players in that association named on the current Men’s and Women’s World Rankings.