by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Until that date, whenever Brazil had competed, the name of Hugo Hoyama had been present, in 2015 in Dubai and now in London, it is Hugo Calderano who heads the Brazilian selection.
In fact whatever happens in London, Hugo Hoyama will maintain his record of playing in the ITTF World Team Cup more than any other male player.
Commencing in 1990 in the inaugural tournament staged in the Japanese cities of Hokkaido, Aomori, Niigata and Tokyo, until 2011 in Magdeburg, he competed on six occasions. The only male player who can match that record is Austria’s Werner Schlager, likewise from a debut in 1991 in Barcelona to a swansong in 2010 in Dubai, he made six excursions.
Six appearances, there is one other name when written in English which has played that number of times. It is that of China’s Wang Hao but that is two different people!
There was Wang Hao the shake-hands grip defender who competed in 1991 and in 1994 in Nîmes; later came Wang Hao, the pen-hold grip 2009 World Champion who was present on four occasions between 2007 and 2013 when the tournament was staged in Guangzhou, China.
However, there are four men who will equal the six appearance record of Hugo Hoyama and Werner Schlager when they compete in London.
China’s Ma Long and Xu Xin, who both made their debuts in 2009 in Linz when trying to establish their places in the national team and have been present ever since that date, will be competing for the sixth consecutive time.
Also, it will be a sixth appearance for Germany’s Bastien Steger; he made his ITTF World Team Cup debut in 2007 in Magdeburg but did not play in Dubai in 2010. Similarly, it will be number six for Gustavo Tsuboi who like Ma Long and Xu Xin has been ever present since 2009 in Linz.
In the Brazilian outfit Gustavo Tsuboi lines up alongside Eric Jouti who is making his debut, both stand alongside the most popular given name of all, Hugo, for no less than the eighth time!