by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It is very much an ideal venue for an event that brings together players from the four corners of the world; Shanghai is the international city.
Furthermore, it is the home of some of the greatest names in the sport of table tennis.
In the late 1960s, Chinese men ascended to the heights as they superseded Japan; the names of Li Furong and Xu Yinsheng were prominent in the rise; both were later to assume major official positions.
Both Li Furong and Xu Yinsheng were players from an era when short pimpled rubber, the pen-hold grip with fast attacking play close the table ruled the day.
More recently, a player with a totally different style, more European than Asian, a step back from the table with counter top spin his forte, flew the flew the flag for Shanghai; Wang Liqin took China into a new era.Three times the winner of the Men’s Singles title at a World Championships, underlines his pedigree. It is a curriculum vitae that puts him in the category of true legend.
It is in the shadows of those great names that 32 boys and 32 girls will demonstrate their skills.
Teams of four players, each of the six continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Oceania – will be represented in addition to a Hopes Team and ominously on from the host nation.
Seven events will be staged – Boys’ Team, Girls’ Team, Boys’ Singles, Girls’ Singles, Boys’ Doubles, Girls’ Doubles, Mixed Doubles.
The Mixed Doubles is a comparatively new innovation; it was introduced last year when the tournament was held in Sharm El-Sheik and will follow the same format this year.
Each team will select two boys and two girls; partnerships will be drawn at random but may not be from the same team.
The table, net and post sets plus flooring will be provided by Stag, the balls by Butterfly.
Saturday 1st October: Prospectus – 2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge