Jun MIZUTANI tops the race to Bangkok standings
The qualified players for the one million dollar GAC Group 2014 World Tour Grand Finals have been announced after a record-breaking end to the regular World Tour season, which consisted of 20 stops. A record 304 players, from 51 national associations floc
The qualified players for the one million dollar GAC Group 2014 World Tour Grand Finals have been announced after a record-breaking end to the regular World Tour season, which consisted of 20 stops. A record 304 players, from 51 national associations flocked to the GAC Group World Tour Swedish Open in a last ditch attempt to qualify for the lucrative World Tour Grand Finals, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 11-14 December 2014.
After the 502 matches were played in Sweden, the 2014 World Tour season concluded with 16 men and 16 women securing their golden ticket to Bangkok, as well as eight men’s and women’s doubles pairs, and eight men’s and women’s under 21 players.
Japan’s Jun MIZUTANI heads the men’s Race to Bangkok standings, after a very consistent 2014 and will make his third appearance at the year ending event. Singapore’s FENG Tianwei tops the women’s charts, after winning three World Tour crowns this year to secure her seventh consecutive excursion to the prestigious event.
German Open Champion Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) is next on the men’s list, ahead of Japan’s Koki NIWA who recently won in Russia, pursued by England’s Paul DRINKHALL, the champion in Spain.
Portugal’s Marcos FREITAS, followed by Belarus’s Vladimir SAMSONOV, Chinese Taipei’s CHUANG Chih-Yuan and Germany’s Steffen MENGEL complete the top eight names. Marcos FREITAS won in the Czech Republic, whilst veteran Vladimir SAMSONOV succeeded in both his native Belarus and Belgium.
Japan managed to qualify five women for the singles, which makes it the highest represented country.
Kasumi ISHIKAWA, who won recently at the Russian Open, leads the challenge with Ai FUKUHARA, whom she beat in the final in Ekaterinburg, alongside Misaki MORIZONO, Sayaka HIRANO and Yuka ISHIGAKI will all make the trip to Bangkok.
Europe will also be strongly represented in Bangkok. Germany’s HAN Ying and SHAN Xiaona are high on the list as are Sweden’s LI Fen, Austria’s LIU Jia and Romania’s Elizabeta SAMARA.
The GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour events are split up into three tiers (highest first): Super (6 events), Major (4 events), Challenge (10 events). The higher the series, the more prize money, World ranking points, Race to Bangkok points and higher quality of competition on offer.
The prestigious 1 million dollar GAC Group 2014 World Tour Grand Finals, which has the most prize money of any table tennis event on earth, will be held at the Sports Authority of Thailand Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on 11-14 December 2014. To qualify, players had to play in a minimum of five events.