World’s best players ready for LIEBHERR World Cup
The world’s best table tennis players have arrived in Verviers, Belgium, ready for battle at the LIEBHERR 2013 Men’s World Cup, which runs from 25-27 October 2013. The top players from each Continental Cup across the globe, plus a host player
The world’s best table tennis players have arrived in Verviers, Belgium, ready for battle at the LIEBHERR 2013 Men’s World Cup, which runs from 25-27 October 2013.
The top players from each Continental Cup across the globe, plus a host player and an ITTF wildcard, makes up the 20 players competing for the 34th Men’s World Cup title. All eyes will be on number two seed, Germany’s Timo BOLL, who is making his comeback from illness, which had forced him to withdraw from the recent European Championships. “I am glad I am back. I am not sure how good my form will be, but I love playing in World Cups so we will see,” stated the 32 year-old after the draw.
BOLL has a special relationship with the Men’s World Cup, after winning it twice before: “The World Cup is a good system, where you play against the best players in the world. It is not a knock out system so you can improve during the tournament,” concluded the number two seed.
The first round of the Men’s World Cup kicks off tomorrow morning, with the 12 lowest-ranked players being placed in four groups of three. The winner of the group progresses to the next round where the top 8 seeds are waiting to fight for the quarterfinal positions.
The group that will draw the most interest tomorrow is group A, which includes local favourite Jean-Michel SAIVE who is playing in his 18th and possibly last World Cup, Singapore’s YANG Zi and Portugal’s Marcos FREITAS.
An emotional SAIVE stated: “I am very proud to be playing in my 18th World Cup, which is a record I now hold beside the legend Waldner. It is even more special that it is in my home country. I feel that my group is the toughest, but that is life. Last time I played YANG Zi I lost quite easily, but I will fight and fight and hopefully get the win in front of my family and friends,” concluded the 43 year old.
One man that knows how to win a Men’s World Cup match and trophy is Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR). If SAMSONOV makes the final, it will mean that the 3-time Men’s World Cup Champion will achieve 51 wins, just one match behind the record of 52 wins set by Jan-Ove WALDNER. “I am very privileged to have won this many matches. However I am just thinking about winning my first match tomorrow, and not get too ahead of myself,” stated the 37-year-old 6th seed.