World Tour Qatar Open breaks new ground
GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour, Qatar Open, a Super Series tournament, staged from Tuesday 18th to Sunday 23rd February, it is the first ever six day event in what is now the 19th year of the ITTF World Tour; furthermore, it carries the highest prize mone
GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour, Qatar Open, a Super Series tournament, staged from Tuesday 18th to Sunday 23rd February, it is the first ever six day event in what is now the 19th year of the ITTF World Tour; furthermore, it carries the highest prize money in the history of open international tournaments.
A total prize fund of a staggering US$ 500,000 is on offer; considerably higher than the next on the list, the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour China Open later in the year boasts a total pot of US$ 350,000. Additionally, for the first time in the history of the tournament, prize money will be awarded in each of the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles to players who suffer defeat in the opening round of an anticipated 64 players. First round losers will each receive US$ 1,500. Previously, competitors had to reach the round of 32 players to collect prize money. Meanwhile, the winners of the Men’s and Women’s Singles events will receive US $35,000 each, the runners up US$17,000.
In each of the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events, the winning pair secures US$ 9,500, the runners up US$ 4,700; whilst in the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Men’s Singles events, in each competition the champion gains US$ 3,000, the runner up US$ 1,500.
At the Press Conference staged on Monday Adham SHARARA, ITTF President and Khalil Al-MOHANNADI were present to answer questions regarding the impending GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open. Also, they revealed exciting plans for the future.
Khalil Al-MOHANNADI explained that the Qatar Table Tennis Association will bid to host the World Team Championships in 2020 and as Adham SHARARA indicated, great benefit may well be derived for the tournament being two years prior to the staging of the Football World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
“We have given deep thought and we plan to bid for the event which will take place two years before the Football World Cup,” said Khalil Al-MOHANNADI. “If Qatar bids for the 2019 event, which is an individual championship, the focus will be on a few players from a few countries, while in the team event, the focus will be on different countries and will reach a much wider audience; Qatar also plan to field a strong team in 2020 Championship.”
A most fruitful and positive Press Conference was followed by a meeting with His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-THANI, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee and Fisal Saleh Al-MANSOORI, Director of the Public Relations and Marketing Department.
Accompanied by Khalil Al-MOHANNADI, Adham SHARARA congratulated all concerned on the efforts to promote table tennis and sport in general, whilst discussing future co-operation with Qatar.