SAMSONOV “leads”10:8 against CHUANGPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
Byelorussian participates 11th time on the My Hills International Trade Center Asia-Europe All Stars Challenge 2016 (September 10-11th)
Vladimir SAMSONOV`s book of records must change one of its chapters this weekend, when the My Hills International Trade Center Asia-Europe All Stars Challenge 2016 (September 10-11th) starts. Byelorussian participates 11th time on that prestigious event, more than any other player from both sides. Taipei`s CHUANG Chih-Yuan is the record holder in Asian team approaching to his 9th battle of two strongest table tennis continents.
World no. 21 and European no. 7, Alexander SHIBAEV from Russia and Hong Kong`s WONG Chun Ting (World no. 8) will open the clash in Dongguan, as game starts at 14:00 in local time (08:00 CET). Four more matches will be held on September 10th: JOO Saehyuk (Korea, World no. 13) – Andrej GACINA (Croatia, World no. 20, European no. 6), FAN Zhendong (China, World no. 2) – Tiago APOLONIA (Portugal, World no. 17, European no. 5), CHUANG Chih-Yuan (Taipei, World no. 7) – Vladimir SAMSONOV (Byelorussia, World no. 9, European no. 2) and GAO Ning (Singapore, World no. 31) – CHEN Weixing (Austria, World no. 49, European no. 20).
Asia leads 8:3 in total score, but European won in the latest clash 6:4, last summer in the city of Zhangjiagang. It was the very first victory of Old Continent on Asian soil. European stars also won in 2009 Istanbul (6:5) and 2012 Vendée (6:4).
Upcoming event comes just three weeks after 2016 Rio Olympics where SAMSONOV was the best European participant, reaching semi-final. SHIBAEV, APOLONIA and GACINA lost their matches in the 3rd round, but Russian must be satisfied how he played against six times individual European champion Timo BOLL, playing full seven games. From the current Asian squad WONG had the best individual performances in Rio, playing in the fourth round (lost to Japanese NIWA).