Other Events | 16 Nov 2018
Timo BOLL keeps European flag in Korea
Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals
In one month, we'll find out the champions of the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, but who do you think they'll be? Discover the candidates competing for silverware in Korea!
Chinese duo, XU Xin (1stseed) and FAN Zhendong (2nd) will enter the World Tour Grand Finals as favourites. XU Xin is a two-time WTGF champion (2012 and 2013), while World no. 1 FAN Zhendong will be defending his crown after last year's success in Astana.
Despite withdrawing from both Swedish and Austrian Opens through injury, five-time WTGF champion MA Long (3rd) is fighting hard to make a return from his knee injury in time.
A gold medallist back in 2005, Germany's Timo BOLL (16th) qualified with the narrowest of margins, while Dimitrij OVTCHAROV missed out for only the second time since 2007.
15-year-old rising star, Tomokazu HARIMOTO (5th) will be looking to boost his burgeoning reputation, Korea's JANG Woojin (6th) is the host nation's biggest hope of glory, and Brazil's Hugo CALDERANO (8th) is aiming to push on since becoming the first Latin American player to enter the World Top 10.
WANG Manyu (1st) collected the most points (1,856) on the 2018 ITTF World Tour. The 19-year-old talent is seeking her first career World Tour Grand Finals crown. ZHU Yuling (7th) is World no. 1 and looking to regain the WTGF title she won in 2016. CHEN Meng (6th) is the defending Women's Singles champion and enters the tournament straight off the back of winning last week's Austrian Open.
It has been an impressive year for 18-year-old Mima ITO (4th), who is full of confidence, having won 12 of her last 17 matches against top Chinese opposition. 2014 champion, Kasumi ISHIKAWA (2nd) is Japan's other outstanding candidate.
Having missed out on the 2017 World Tour Grand Finals, experienced Chinese duo, LIU Shiwen and DING Ning are back in it this year. LIU Shiwen (3rd) remains the only player in history to have won three consecutive WTGF titles (2011, 2012, 2013) while DING Ning (5th) celebrated victory in 2015.
Host nation Korea topped the charts in both the Men's Doubles and Mixed Doubles on the 2018 ITTF World Tour: LEE Sangsu will partner JEOUNG Youngsik in the former category, and JEON Jihee in the latter.
The Mixed Doubles have provided arguably the greatest success story of 2018 beyond the realms of table tennis, as JANG Woojin (of South Korea) and CHA Hyo Sim (of North Korea) ensure a Unified Korea team presence in Incheon.
A formidable force also in the Doubles scene, Mima ITO celebrated gold four times on the 2018 ITTF World Tour, meaning she forms a top seed partnership with Hina HAYATA.
Of China's three Women's Doubles pairings, CHEN Xingtong and SUN Yingsha (2nd) are the highest ranked after they claimed three titles this year.
Meanwhile in the Men's Doubles, Japanese pair and defending champions, Masataka MORIZONO and Yuya OSHIMA (2nd) are aiming to repeat their triumphs of 2015 and 2017. They too will face stern competition from China in the form of MA Long and XU Xin (3rd).