SAMARA has her eyes set on the titlePhoto: ITTF
Uncle Pop 2017 ITTF Women's World Cup
Already one of the world's most successful players in ITTF Women's World Cup history, China's LIU Shiwen aims to go a step further for a record fifth title at the Uncle Pop 2017 ITTF Women's World Cup presented by Polar Naturals held in Markham, Canada from 27 -29 October 2017.
After reigning World Champion DING Ning withdrew due to her physical condition, LIU was selected to replace DING due to her strong past performance and second place finish at the 2017 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup. The current world number four, who has maintained a perfect record of winning four titles in four World Cup appearances, will be determined to grasp her chance to make world history in Markham.
LIU will have to fend off challenges from other hot contenders for the throne, including teammate ZHU Yuling, in her pursuit for a fifth crown. Things seem to be more in favor of the top seeded ZHU, as she has won both of their recent major international clash, at the 2017 World Championships where she made her first appearance in the Women's Singles Gold medal match, and the recent Asian Cup where she took Gold to secure her ticket to the Women's World Cup.
The current top seed, who is currently just 4 points away from overtaking reigning World & Olympic Champion DING's top spot on the world ranking, will have the extra push of motivation at the event as she will become the new world number one after a successful trip in Markham.
Japan's Miu HIRANO (JPN) who shocked the world to become the first non-Chinese Women's World Cup Champion and youngest ever ITTF World Cup Champion at 16 years old last year will be looking at repeating her success again this year to defend her hard-earned title.
After leading the Romanian women's team to Gold at the recently concluded European Team Championships, European hope Elizabeta SAMARA (ROU) who received the wildcard position has her eyes set on the title, as she aims to add a Gold medal to her current Silver medal from 2012.
Action for the Uncle Pop 2017 ITTF Women's World Cup presented by Polar Naturals will begin tomorrow, 27 October 2017, with seeds nine to 20 competing in four groups of three players in the group stage qualification rounds. The top two players of each group will then progress on to join the top eight seeds in the knockout stage. The draw for the group stage can be found here: http://bit.ly/2lk8KF5
The knockout stage of the tournament will see the eight qualifiers facing off the top eight seeds starting with the Round of 16 followed by Quarterfinals on 28 October, and the Semifinals and Final being played on 29 October 2017.