Olympic Team Silver medalist Petrissa SOLJA in PhiladelphiaPhoto: ITTF
Seamaster 2016 ITTF Women's World Cup
Singapore's FENG Tianwei, the top seed at the Seamaster 2016 ITTF Women's World Cup, will be aiming for her first ever Women's World Cup title at the prestigious event which starts tomorrow 7-9 October 2016 in Philadelphia, USA.
The London 2012 Bronze medalist stated in a packed press conference room "As the top seed, of course I'll do my best for the title, but it won't be easy, competition is tough here and everyone is eyeing for the same title. Nevertheless, I will aim to play my best here."
"After the Olympic Games, I think we all haven't been training systematically. Also thanks to the Chinese pair DING Ning and LIU Shiwen who had to pull out from the event, that gave the rest of us chance to become the Women's World Cup champion," joked FENG in front of the media and her fellow contenders for the crown.
Since its inauguration in 1996, the Women's World Cup trophy has always been won by the Chinese. However, with Rio 2016 Olympic Singles Champion DING Ning (CHN) and four time Women's World Cup Champion LIU Shiwen (CHN) having to withdraw from the event due to injury, we will witness the crowning of the first non-Chinese Women's World Cup Champion in table tennis history.
Japan's 15-year-old Mima ITO, who beat FENG at the Rio 2016 Olympic Team Bronze medal match to secure a medal for Japan, and become the youngest ever table tennis Olympic medalist, will be eager to add a major world title under her collection in the US.
Other top contenders for the cup include world number eight CHENG I-Ching (TPE) who led the Chinese Taipei team to a medal finish at the World Team Championships earlier this year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and world number 16 Petrissa SOLJA (GER) who won the Olympic Team Silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
With the last minute withdrawal of Turkey's Melek HU due to an injury, the 2016 Women's World Cup will have 19 players instead of the usual 20 competing for the title.
Kicking off the event are seeds nine to 19, 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/2cW5Fq8.
The second round, which starts on Friday evening, 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 starting tomorrow, with the semifinals and final on Monday.
The Seamaster 2016 ITTF Women's World Cup only consists of 19 (originally 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.