New Father Ovtcharov aiming to become Men's World Cup Champion
Nearly two months on from his agonising defeat at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games quarterfinal, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) is now a father and is ready for a tilt at becoming the champion at the Liebherr 2016 Men's World Cup, which starts tomorrow 1 October 2016 in Saarbrucken, Germany.
The world number six, who won bronze in the team's event at Rio 2016 to make up for his singles heartbreak, became a father just one week after the Olympic Games to a baby girl named Emma.
Speaking about his newborn daughter, the German's face beams: "I am always so excited to come home after practice. I miss her when I am away, so I always FaceTime with her so that I can see her as much as possible. It is a unique and special feeling andfulfilsme with just happiness."
Despite the challenges of fatherhood, 28 year old OVTCHAROV is prepared for the prestigious event and expects good results, "I have been practicing intensively in the last two weeks, I feel ready and I really want to post some good victories. I would love a win against a Chinese player to show my standing in world table tennis."
The Chinese players OVTCHAROV is speaking about is none other than FAN Zhendong and XU Xin, world number two and three respectively, who are hot favorites for the title here in Germany.
FAN, who is coming off a career defining win against Olympic champion MA Long at the China Open two weeks ago stated: "I am very excited about playing here at the Men's World Cup. I really want to win my first big senior world title event. I hope I can do it.
Other top contenders for glory in Saarbrucken are three times champion Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR), who will be taking part in his 16th Men's World Cup, just two shy off the record, world number seven WONG Chun Ting (HKG) and world number 10 JEOUNG Youngsik (KOR).
Kicking off the event are seeds nine to 20, who will play round robin in four groups of three players (two matches each). The top two players from each group progresses to the second round of the competition. This first round draw can be found here:http://bit.ly/2d1WYXg.
The second round, which starts on Saturday, is a straight knockout with the eight players that progressed from the first round, facing off against the top eight seeded players. The players play the round of 16 and quarterfinals on Sunday, with the semifinals and final on Monday.
The Liebherr 2016 ITTF Men's World Cup only consists of 20 of the world's best players. 17 of the players competing here had to qualify through their respective Continental Cups, which means only the best of the best can compete.