ITTF Announces 2018 ITTF World Tour CalendarPhoto: ITTF
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is excited to announce the 12 cities that will host the 2018 ITTF World Tour events.
The 2018 is set to be the biggest in history, with more prize money, more fan engagement and a better TV spectacle for the world wide TV audience.
On the announcement, ITTF Director of Competitions Karl JINDRAK stated: "In 2017 we relaunched the ITTF World Tour with a new logo, new branding, new competition structure and better conditions for the players. This has resulted in record prize money for 2017, and we hope to break this record again in 2018 and to keep moving the ITTF World Tour forward to make it the best product possible for our players, fans and members."
The 2018 World Tour will be split into two tiers, six ITTF World Tour Platinum events, which is the new top tier of the World Tour, and six regular ITTF World Tour events.
The six ITTF World Tour Platinum events will have higher prize money, and be of a higher level organisation, which will ensure the attendance of the world's best players, resulting in more international exposure for the hosts.
The six cities that have won the rights to host a 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum event are:
- Doha, Qatar: 8-11 March 2018
- Bremen, Germany 23-25 March 2018
- Shenzhen, China: 31 May – 3 June 2018
- Incheon, Korea: 19-22 July 2018
- Linz, Austria: 4-7 October 2018
- Gold Coast, Australia: 8-11 November 2018
The regular ITTF World Tour events are:
- Budapest, Hungary: 18-21 January 2018
- Hong Kong: 24-27 May 2018
- Fukuoka, Japan: 7-10 June 2018
- Panagyurishte, Bulgaria: 16-19 August 2018
- Olomouc, Czech Republic: 23-26 August 2018
- Stockholm, Sweden: 1-4 November 2018
Korea moves back up to the top World Tour tier for the first time, after missing out last year and replacing Japan who moves down a tier. Hong Kong is back hosting a World Tour event for the first time since 2006, where it was home to the 2006 World Tour Grand Finals.
The 12 events all offer World Tour Standings points, which will be used to determine the top 16 players who will qualify for the World Tour Grand Finals, to be held from 13-16 December 2018 in a location to be determined.
Bidding for the 2018 ITTF Challenge Series is now open for countries and cities to bid for the lower tiers ITTF Tour events: https://www.ittfchallengeseries.com/.
2018 World Tour Full Calendar: http://bit.ly/2pLYjYF