by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Recently, the Guadalajara City Council invited members of the local media to a Press Conference to promote the tournament.
Alongside, Miguel Angel Machado, the President of the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation was Antonio Roman, the Mayor of Guadalajara in addition to José Manuel Latre, President of the Provincial Council, Faustino Lozano, Provincial Director of Education, Culture and Sports of the Regional Government of Castile-La Mancha and David Corral, the Sports Director of the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation.
Overall a total of 28 table tennis tables will be available, 14 in the competition hall, the same number for practice. Impressively, some 191 players have enrolled from 45 national associations; the eyes of the host country being very much focused on the likes of Jesus Cantero and Carlos Machado in the Men’s Singles event; in the counterpart Women’s Singles competition, Maria Xiao followed by Galia Dvorak spearhead the challenge.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Austria’s Robert Gardos are the leading Men’s Singles names with Lam Siu Hang, also from Hong Kong and Korea’s Cho Seungmin being the next in line. Japan’s Hitomi Sato is the Women’s Singles top seed, Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam, Hungary’s Georgina Pota and Honoka Hashimoto, like Hitomi Sato from Japan, complete the top for names.
Lam Siu Hang and Hong Kong colleague, Ng Pak Nam head the Men’s Doubles entry with Aliaksandr Khanin and Pavel Platonov of Belarus being second in the order of merit. Honoka Hashimoto and Hito Sato form the top Women’s Doubles pair ahead of the combination comprising Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota.
Cho Seungmin and Aliaksandra Khanin are the respective top two names in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, in the counterpart Under 21 Women’s Singles competition it is Minnie Soo Wai Yam and Japan’s Saki Shibata.
A total prize fund of US $ 40,000.00 is on offer, entry to watch the tournament is free of charge.
The top table at the Press Conference (left to right) José Manuel Latre, Faustino Lozano, Antonio Roman, Miguel Angel Machado, David Corral (Photo: courtesy of Alvaro Diaz)