The draw in Vienna – first step of 2016/17 TTCL MenPhoto: Germain SCHILLINGFORD
It will be held today, from 2.30pm live on www.laola1.tv. French champion AS PONTOISE CERGY TT defends the title
The 2016/17 Table Tennis Champions League Men comence today, by the draw which will be held in Vienna, starting at 2.30pm (live on www.laola1.tv. As in the last season, 16 teams will be allocated in four groups. Two best sides from each group are going to play in the quarter-finals.
Names of the clubs and players promise exciting season. Top seeded FAKEL GAZPROMA ORENBURG has super trio Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (world`s no. 5), Jun MIZUTANI (no. 9) and Vladimir SAMSONOV (no. 9). In the recent TTCLM history this is the first time that one club managed to gather three Top 10 players at the ITTF World ranking list.
Three clubs won last eight TTCLM titles: BORUSSIA DÜSSELDORF (2009, 2010, 2011), FAKEL GAZPROMA ORENBURG (2012, 2013, 2015) and AS PONTOISE CERGY TT (2014, 2016). BORUSSIA DÜSSELDORF holds the record with 10 titles, while Byelorussian Vladimir SAMSONOV tops individual list with his 11 TTCLM crowns.
Since 2000 all gold medalist from ITTF European Championships Singles event will be included in the 2016/17 TTCLM season: Vladimir SAMSONOV, Timo BOLL, Michael MAZE and Dimitrij OVTCHAROV.
The seeding list puts FAKEL GAZPROMA (Russia), BORUSSIA DUSSELDORF (Germany), UMMC (Russia) and 1. FC SAARBRUCKEN (Germany) in the positions of main candidates for the title, but AS PONTOISE CERGY managed to upset SAMSONOV & Co two times in last three seasons. Nobody expected that no. 6 and no. 14 seed will play for the title in the 2015/16 TTCLM season, but AS PONTOISE CERGY and ESLOVS Al BORDTENNIS provided spectacular ending for their fans, as French champion won with one set difference (4:4, 15:14).
This time AS PONTOISE CERGY will defend its crown as no. 8 seed, will actual runner-up starts as no. 13.