20 Oct 2017

Defeats on the opening day of play, Friday 20th October, at the Liehberr 2017 Men’s World Cup in the Belgian city of Liège, ended the aspirations of the host nation’s Cédric Nuytinck.

The no.17 seed, after extending Omar Assar, the no.11 seed, the full seven games distance in his opening contest (9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8), in his second engagement he was beaten in four straight games by Russia’s Alexander Shibaev, the no.16 seed.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interview by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer)

Nevertheless, reflecting on the day, the 24 year old was not too despondent.

“I am satisfied with my level of play in this competition. I played two matches against two of the world’s best players and I made some mistakes. You cannot make mistakes against players of this level. In the first match against Omar Assar, I had a chance to win but I was unlucky; Alexander Shibaev was a bit tougher for me.” Cédric Nuytinck

Throughout, the Belgians fans gave unrelenting support for what was a most memorable day in the young man’s career.

“I am very happy with the kind of support I got from the fans. This was awesome and I hope I can do this again in my career by playing on the big stage like the World Cup. I was really well prepared knowing this was a special opportunity, like competing in the Olympic Games and World Championship. I feel great pride having played in this competition. It is totally different from all other tournaments because we have only 20 players competing. It is also a learning experience for me in my career and I look forward to playing in more World Cups.” Cédric Nuytinck

It was the first time that Cédric Nuytinck has played in a Men’s World Cup and he is only the second Belgian ever to have competed since the event was first held in Hong Kong in 1980; the other is of course Jean-Michel Saive, very much at the other end of the scale.

He played 18 times, alongside Sweden’s Jan-Ove Waldner more than any other player in the history of the prestigious tournament.

Day 1 - Liebherr 2017 ITTF Men's World Cup

Photos: Christophe Neuville

World Cup 2017 Liebherr Men's World Cup Cedric Nuytinck

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Day 3 - Liebherr 2017 Men's World Cup

Match Highlights