08 Aug 2017

Vladimir Samsonov and Wang Manyu alongside Cheng I-Ching and Feng Tianwei emerged as the most successful players on view as the third round if the T2 Asia-Pacific League came to a conclusion on Saturday 5th August.

However, the player to attract the attention was Paul Drinkhall, the Englishman proving pivotal to Team Rossi recording their first win in six features; five defeats and a 12-all draw against Team JJ was the record when matters recommenced after a three week break

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Staged in the purpose-built T2 Cavern at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios in Johor Bahru, Paul Drinkhall beat Jun Mizutani in the contest against Team Persson to help Team Rossi to a narrow 15-14 win in opposition to Team Persson.

Major support came from Cheng I-Ching who beat Suthasini Sawettabut and Dimitrij Ovtcharov who accounted for Joo Saehyuk, before losing to Jun Mizutani. Usually each player only competes in one match in a fixture but Dimitrij Ovtcharov was required to deputise for Xue Fei, as was Jun Mizutani for Mattias Karlsson.

A close 15-14 win for Team Rossi against Team Persson, it was exactly the same for Team JJ in opposition to Team Maze. Mainstays of the victory for Team JJ were Vladimir Samsonov and Sun Yingsha; Vladimir Samsonov beat Chien Chen-An, Sun Yingsha accounted for Hina Hayata.

Back to duty one day later on Thursday 3rd August, it was back to earth for Team Rossi; they suffered a 15-13 defeat when facing Team JJ; once again an unbeaten performance by Vladimir Samsonov proved vital. He overcame Xue Fei. Tomokazu Harimoto gave valuable support by beating Paul Drinkhall, whilst Chuang Chih-Yuan overcame Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Jeon Jihee accounted for Elizabeta Samara in the vital concluding match of the fixture.

Victory by a narrow margin; in the corresponding contest, the difference was much greater. Team Maze beat Team Persson 19-11. Wang Manyu overcame Hina Hayata to maintain her unbeaten record but success for Tim Boll against Joo Sae Hyuk and good form maintained by Feng Tianwei proved the backbone of success. One day earlier Feng Tianwei had beaten Matilda Ekholm, one day later, she overcame Suthasini Sawettabut.

Likewise, in the concluding third round fixtures, there was a resounding win for Team Rossi; they beat Team Maze 19-8 with once again Paul Drinkhall stealing the show and Cheng I-Ching maintaining her unbeaten record. After, against Team JJ, the previous day, overcoming Sun Yingsha; in the contest against Team Maze, she shared the spoils with Feng Tianwei, before Paul Drinkhall, turned matters inexorably in favour of Team Rossi by overcoming Chen Chien-An (4-1).

Back to winning ways after one defeat, for Team Persson it was back to winning ways after two defeats. They beat Team JJ 17-13 with Wang Manyu outstanding; she accounted for Jeon Jihee; for the defeated, Vladimir Samsonov maintained his unbeaten record. He overcame Joo Saehyuk in five games.

After three rounds of fixtures, based on the number of points won; the leading men are Vladimir Samsonov (377 points), Timo Boll (361 points), Dimitrij Ovtcharov (351 points) and Alexander Shibaev (337 points).

The leading women are Wang Manyu (412 points), Sun Yingsha (371 points), Bernadette Szocs (361 points), Cheng I-Ching (313 Points).

Based on overall number of individual games won, the order after round three reads: Team Maze (131 games), Team Persson (130 games), Team JJ (119 games) Team Rossi (114 games)

T2 Asia Pacific League: Round One (Wednesday 28th – Friday 30th June)

T2 Asia Pacific League: Round Two (Wednesday 12th – Saturday 15th July)

T2 Asia Pacific League: Round Three (Wednesday 3rd – Saturday 5th August)

T2 Asia Pacific League: Dedicated Website



Team JJ: Chuang Chih-Yuan, Tomokazu Harimoto, Vladimir Samsonov, Matilda Ekholm, Jeon Jihee, Wu Yang (Sun Yingsha replaced Wu Yang for Round Two) Coach: Jiang Jialiang

Team Maze: Timo Boll, Chen Chien-An, Alexander Shibaev, Feng Tianwei, Hina Hayata, Yang Haeun Coach: Michael Maze

Team Persson: Mattias Karlsson, Joo Saehyuk, Jun Mizutani, Ding Ning, Bernadette Szocs and Suthasini Sawettabut. (Wang Manyu replaced Ding Ning for Round Two)  Coach: Jörgen Persson

Team Rossi: Paul Drinkhall, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Shang Kun alongside the female trio of Cheng I-Ching, Georgina Pota and Elizabeta Samara (Wang Chuqin replaced Shang Kun for Round Two) Coach: Jörg Rosskopf


Round One: Wednesday 28th June – Friday 30th June

Round Two: Tuesday 11th July – Saturday 15th July

Round Three: Tuesday 1st August – Saturday 5th August

Round Four: Tuesday 19th September – Saturday 23rd September

Round Five: Tuesday 3rd October – Saturday 7th October

Round Six: Tuesday 31st October – Saturday 4th November

Grand Finals: Thursday 7th December – Saturday 9th December


In each round each team plays against each other

In each fixture each player competes in one match; men versus men, women versus women

Each match is 24 minutes

The first player to 11 points wins the match, if the score reaches 10-all; the player who secures the next point is declared the winner

Each game won contributes to the player’s standing and the team’s standing

The player in the lead when the buzzer declares “Time” wins the game

After the end of the second game, the clock stops for one minute

A coach may call one “Time Out” per match; the clock stops for one minute

If a game ends and there is less than two minutes left, the “kill zone” rule applies. The first player to win five points is declared the winner of that game

Grand Finals

The top four men and top four women, in addition to the top two teams will be invited to the Grand Finals.



T2 Asia-Pacific League Paul Drinkhall