31 Jan 2019

One year ago his name did not appear on the entry list, now one year later England’s Liam Pitchford is a major contender for honours in the men’s event at the forthcoming CCB 2019 Europe Top 16 to be staged in Montreux, Switzerland on the weekend of Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February.

He is the no.4 seed; he is listed behind the German duo of Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov with Sweden’s Mattias Falck being the next in line.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Notably last year on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour, Liam Pitchford beat all three; in China he accounted for Mattias Falck, in the Czech Republic Dimitrij Ovtcharov and in Austria Timo Boll.

Find that form and who knows what might be possible in Montreux.

Notably he becomes the seventh player to represent England in the men’s singles event at the Europe Top 16, the tournament being known as the Europe Top 12 until 2015 when staged in Baku, the most recent time when England was represented, Paul Drinkhall being the players in question.

Prior to Paul Drinkhall, Denis Neale, John Hilton, Carl Prean and Chen Xinhua competed; Chen Xinhua having won the Men’s World Cup title in 1985 in Foshan in the colours of China when beating the late Andrzej Grubba of Poland in the final.

However, none in English colours can match Desmond Douglas. He played on no less than six occasions; most notably he finished in third place in 1982 in Nantes. Meanwhile, in 1979 in Christianstad as well as in 1983 in Cleveland and 1986 in Södertälje he was the runner up. Three times the silver medal but there was gold; in 1987 he secured top spot in Charleroi.

Furthermore, in the era of Desmond Douglas, all played all; eleven matches were needed to secure the top prize. Times change, could they change for England? The answer lies in the hands of Liam Pitchford born six years after the success gained by Desmond Douglas.


The CCB Europe Top 16 Cup will be broadcast by Eurosport:

Eurosport 2: Sunday 3rd February (6.45 pm – 8.10 pm) & Monday 4th February (1.00 pm – 2.00 pm)

Eurosport 1: Monday 4th February (4.45 pm – 5.30 pm)

Countries covered: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kirghizstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Morocco, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Vatican.


2019 Europe Top 16 Cup Liam Pitchford

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Day 2 - China Construction Bank 2019 ITTF-Europe Top 16 Cup