Women’s biggest table tennis star from China headlines inaugural tournament

By May 30, 2017 August 1st, 2017 Newsroom

MALAYSIA, May 30, 2017 – The inaugural T2 Asia-Pacific Table Tennis League (T2APAC) announced that the world’s No. 1 ranked women’s player Ding Ning will compete in the inaugural tournament this summer.

Ding Ning’s status as the world’s best women’s player is unparalleled, and her participation adds prestige to a revolutionary sports event that has a growing reputation in the global game of table tennis. She has held the ITTF Women’s World Rankings top spot on three separate occasions since first assuming the No. 1 position in November 2011, and her current run at the top-ranked spot started in October 2016.

Ding Ning will also play an important role as ambassador for the T2APAC, who will leverage on her global popularity to promote and raise the profile of the inaugural event. She will be playing on a rotational basis during the T2APAC season.

Her impressive list of accolades includes two World Championships singles titles (2011, 2015), two World Cup singles titles (2011, 2014), 11 World Pro Tour singles titles, a Pro Tour Grand Final title and three Olympic Games Gold medals (2012, 2016 team, 2016 singles), and is the fifth player to ever win table tennis’ famed Grand Slam.

Ding Ning’s most recent title was a 4-2 victory over her compatriot Liu Shiwen at the China Open’s Women’s Singles Final in September 2016 – one of two ITTF World Tour triumphs she had last year.

Said Ding Ning: “I am truly honoured to be part of this first-ever event. The tournament promises to be very competitive with so many world-class players in the tournament, which will motivate me to do my best. But I am looking forward to the team selection and new scoring format that will make it very interesting to players, viewers and fans, and raise the level of interest in table tennis around the world.”

In addition to her lending her presence as the reigning World and Olympic champion on the court, Ding Ning is also heavily committed to promoting T2APAC off it, and will participate in various T2APAC-led regional initiatives and events throughout the season.

Ding Ning’s participation further emphasizes the value and regard in which the China Table Tennis Association (CTTA) views T2APAC as a genuine competition of the highest level. Furthermore, plans are already underway to send more Chinese senior players to compete in future seasons of this ground-breaking league.

Said T2APAC Chairman, Frank Ji: “We are delighted to have a serial winner and the world’s best women’s table tennis player taking part in the T2APAC, topping off some of the biggest names in world table tennis. This definitely raises the bar in term of the competition as well as elevating the stature of the event. We’re confident her participation will raise even greater awareness in the tournament, especially in Asia.”

The tournament currently boasts several major top-10 players including Dima Ovtcharov from Germany (World No. 5), Jun Mizutani from Japan (World No. 6), former World No. 1 Timo Boll from Germany (World No. 8), Chuang Chih-Yuan (World No. 10) of Chinese Taipei, and legendary defensive player Joo Sae Hyuk of South Korea who was ranked 5th in the world at his peak (World No. 17). The event will also feature some of the world’s best-known women’s players in Singapore’s Feng Tianwei (World No. 4), Cheng I-Ching from Chinese Taipei (World No. 7), and South Korea’s top women’s player Yang Haeun.

The tournament will also feature some irrepressible young talents to join the star-studded line-up of players in the tournament, such as 13-year-old child prodigy Tomokazu Harimoto (World No. 69) from Japan.

Other top names competing in T2APAC’s inaugural season for a prize purse of over USD 1.75 million include Chen Chien-an (Chinese Taipei), Vladimir Samsonov (Belarus), Paul Drinkhall (England), Georgina Pota (Hungary), Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs (Romania), Jeon Jihee (South Korea), Aleksandr Shibaev (Russia), Matilda Ekholm and Mattias Karlsson (Sweden), as well as Suthasini Sawettabut (Thailand).

Each match in the inaugural T2APAC Table Tennis League is limited to 24 minutes, where players try to win as many games as possible within the duration. All players will play in separate but concurrent singles and mixed-team championships in a league format. All players will go through a draft selection process which will be selected by Team Captains.