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Other Events - 20 May 2015

The world’s best players will head to Lisbon


Lisbon, Portugal has won the bid to host the most lucrative table tennis event on earth, the GAC Group 2015 World Tour Grand Finals. The year-ending finale of the 23 ITTF World Tour events will be held on10-13 December 2015 in the Portuguese capital. Toge

Lisbon, Portugal has won the bid to host the most lucrative table tennis event on earth, the GAC Group 2015 World Tour Grand Finals. The year-ending finale of the 23 ITTF World Tour events will be held on10-13 December 2015 in the Portuguese capital.

Together with the World Tour Grand Finals, Lisbon will also host the third edition of the ITTF Star Awards, which will celebrate the world’s best players for their achievements in 2015.

On the news, ITTF’s CEO Judit FARAGO stated: “ITTF is delighted to allocate the organization of the World Tour Grand Finals to Lisbon. This is the best momentum that the table tennis has had in Portugal, and the team is enjoying it’s most successful period of its history. The ITTF World Tour turns 20 years old this year and it is hard to imagine better place for the anniversary celebration than to have the Grand Finals and the ITTF Star Awards in Lisbon, a popular destination for visitors.”

Lisbon is no stranger to hosting major table tennis events, after successfully holding the TMS 2014 European Team Championships last year, where the Portuguese Men’s Team won their first European Championships title, much to the delight of the packed crowd.

The locals will be hoping for similar success in December, with world number 10 Marcos FREITAS and world number 22 Tiago APOLONIA looking to repeat their European success on home soil.

An upbeat Portuguese Table Tennis President Pedro MOURA stated: “The Portuguese Table Tennis Federation is very proud and honored to be awarded by ITTF with the organization of 2015 World Tour Grand Finals. After the success of the TMS 2014 European Team Championships, we felt we should go for other important international events in order to retain the interest and attention of the Portuguese general public on our wonderful sport. Being able to host the 2015 ITTF Star Awards in conjunction with the World Tour Grand Finals will turn all eyes on Lisbon as the World Table Tennis Capital in December. It’s a dream come true for us and the Portuguese Table Tennis Federation is finally matching the level of its best players. Just like when hosting the continental championships last September, we’ll do our best to turn these events truly memorable for all!”

16 men and 16 women who secured the most “Race to Lisbon” points over the 23 World Tour events qualify for the World Tour Grand Finals, as well as 8 men’s and 8 women’s doubles pairs, together with 8 men’s and 8 women’s under 21 players.

The GAC Group 2015 World Tour is split into three tiers (highest first): Super (6 events), Major (6 events), Challenge (11 events). The higher the series, the more prize money, world ranking points, “Race to Lisbon” points and higher quality of competition on offer.

The ITTF World Tour Grand Finals were held last time in Europe in 2011 when it served as test event for the London Olympic Games.

Milica NIKOLIC, EWT

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