2016 LIEBHERR Men’s World Cup at a “special place” for OVTCHAROV
“Saarbrücken is a very special place for me. In this area I play the Energis Masters every year. My main sponsor is based there: DONIC is supporting me since my childhood. I therefore hope that my fan base will be even larger than perhaps elsewhere in Germany”, says the best non-Chinese in the world, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, at the press conference for LIEBHERR Men's World Cup at the Saarland Ministry of the Interior and Sports.
This year the tournament takes place in Saarland’s capital Saarbrücken for the first time in the 36-year-old history of the Men’s World Cup. From 1 to 3 October Saturday to Monday, the 20 best male players in the World Table Tennis will gather in Saarlandhalle – a maximum of 2 per country – to fight for the most wanted title in table tennis worldwide along with Olympic and World Championships singles’ gold. One of the participants is Germany’s and Europe's number one, the Olympic bronze medalist from London 2012 in singles and team event, “Dima” OVTCHAROV. "The World Cup is one of the by far most important tournaments in the world. I am looking forward to the event. As the current number 5 in the world, I’m striving for the top places. With the home crowd backing me my big goal is a place on the podium," says the 27-year-old. OVTCHAROV reached the semi-finals twice, in 2015 in Halmstad (Sweden) and in 2013 in Verviers (Belgium) he became third, closely missing to enter the finals.
"I look forward to this high-profile event. We will certainly experience first-class and exciting games in the Saarlandhalle. The Saarland will prove a worthy host," says Klaus BOUILLON, Minister of the Interior and Sports in Saarland who had personally campaigned for Saarbrücken as the venue.
The DTTB President Michael GEIGER endorses: "The spectator interest in the region is enormous. We hope for a full house on all 3 days. Due to the tournament beginning on Saturday and ,German Unity Day’ on Monday, fans can take advantage of this as a 3-day table tennis festival," says Geiger. "The conditions are perfect: Table Tennis enthusiasm in Saarland is huge, the World Cup is a very important tournament in an attractive format and with a high world-wide media distribution. It is an event that is watched throughout the world, especially in Asia".
For the last time in 2003, Saarbrücken was hosting the Europe Top 12. Back then Timo Boll and today's German women’s head coach, Jie SCHÖPP, both succeeded in this European ranking tournament. The Saarlandhalle is thus a historically good place for German table tennis. In addition, the location of the event is not only close for fans in Saarland and the rest of Germany, but also easy to reach for table tennis enthusiasts in France and Luxembourg.
Top favorites in Saarbrücken next to OVTCHAROV are the reigning World Champion Ma Long and his Chinese compatriot, the world’s number 3 XU Xin. Tickets for the LIEBHERR Men's World Cup in Saarbrücken can be ordered online via ADTicket, https://www.adticket.de/Liebherr-Men-s-World-Cup.html.