Incheon set to host S. Korea’s 1st World Table Tennis Champions tournament

SEOUL, The western city of Incheon will host South Korea's first World Table Tennis (WTT) Champions competition this week, bringing some of the world's top ping pong players to a brand new venue. The WTT Champions Incheon will be the first WTT Series event to be held in South Korea, and also the first WTT Champions event of 2024. It will begin Wednesday and finish on Sunday, with the men's and women's singles champions each taking home US$15,000 and collecting 1,000 world ranking points. WTT is an entity created by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in 2019 to run commercialized table tennis tournaments, including the WTT Grand Smash, WTT Star Contenders, WTT Contenders and WTT Champions. For the Incheon competition, the men's and the women's singles will each feature top 30 players in the world rankings, plus one wild card player each from the host country, and one player each nominated by WTT. South Korea will send five male players and five female players to the event, led by Shin Yu-bin , world No. 7 in the women's singles, and Jang Woo-jin, world No. 12 in the women's singles. No South Korean player has won a WTT Champions event, and it likely won't change following Monday evening's draws. On the women's side, Shin is on the same side of the draw with world No. 3 from China, Wang Yidi, who defeated Shin in the quarterfinals of the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships in Busan last month. More Chinese stars could stand in the way of South Korean players. The next South Korean player in the women's singles rankings, No. 17 Joo Cheon-hui, will likely run into world No. 4 Chen Meng in the round of 16. South Korean veteran Jeon Ji-hee, ranked 20th, could face world No. 2 Wang Manyu in the quarterfinals. In the men's singles, Jang will face his countryman An Jae-hyun to begin the tournament. And world No. 4 from China, Ma Long, could await Jang in the quarterfinals. Two other Chinese veterans, No. 2-ranked Fan Zhendong and world No. 3 Liang Jingkun, are the top two seeds expected to co me out of the opposite ends of the bracket. From the round of 32 to the quarterfinals, matches will take the best-of-five format. In the semifinals and the finals, matches will be best-of-seven. Inspire Arena in Incheon, near Incheon International Airport, will be the venue for the competition. This will be the first sports event to be held there. From Wednesday to Saturday, matches will be played starting at 11 a.m. and again at 7 p.m. The finals on Sunday will start at 5 p.m. All matches will be played on one table. Source: Yonhap News Agency

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