by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
They line up alongside Tristan Flore, Quentin Robinot and Alexandre Robinot; for the women the selection is Pauline Chasselin, Laura Gasnier and Stéphanie Loeuillette.
In the German city, despite the fact that he was the runner up at last year’s European Championships; it is Simon Gauzy who spearheads his country’s challenge.
Earlier in the year he finished in third place in the Europe Top 16 Cup in Antibes; he currently stand at no.15 on the Men’s World Rankings, as opposed to Emmanuel Lebesson who is at no.35.
“I want to play my best table tennis in the biggest competitions like the World Championships. I have trained very hard and now I just want to start. I talked a lot with Emmanuel Lebesson and we feel that the players are looking at us as changed players after the European Championships but nothing has changed. We just try to improve our table tennis and represent our country in the best way possible.” Simon Gauzy
Alas, for Emmanuel Lebesson, since his success in Budapest there has been a downturn in fortunes; at the Europe Top 16 he did not progress beyond the initial group stage, similarly he experienced the same fate at the Seamaster 2016 Qatar Open. Injury has been a contributory reason for the lull.
“I don’t feel any more pressure after my European title won last year but for sure the title forces you to set up your goals little bit higher. I am one of the outsiders but I will fight even for a medal. I know that it will be difficult but I am finally in the good shape. I will make every effort to be perform at the best level here in Düsseldorf. I feel confident. I will try to win my first round, which is never easy for me, and we’ll see after.” Emmanuel Lebesson
Both Simon Gauzy and Emmanuel Lebesson will commence their quest in the Men’s Singles event on Wednesday 31st May.