by Simon Daish
Getting the continental bonanza underway is the Liebherr 2019 ITTF European Championships in the French city of Nantes where many of the sport’s biggest names are set to do battle.
In 2017 Romania put on a magnificent show to beat Germany to women’s team gold in an exciting final while the third step of the podium was shared by The Netherlands and Russia. Germany did emerge as the victorious force in the men’s team contest, finishing ahead of an impressive Portuguese line-up. The bronze medal positions were awarded to France and the surprise package of Slovenia.
Running parallel to the proceedings in Nantes, the 2019 ITTF-Pan American Championships sees the top players from the North and Latin American continents take to Asunción, Paraguay from 3-8 September.
Brazil has been the dominant force so far in the tournament’s two-year foundation with a total of 16 medals under their possession, eight of which are gold! Kanak Jha will be hoping to lead the United States to men’s singles glory for the second year running while the likes of Zhang Mo from Canada, American Wu Yue and Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi head the women’s singles line-up.
Yogyakarta will play host to the finest players the Asian continent has to offer as Indonesia welcomes the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Table Tennis Championships from 15-22 September.
Two years back in Wuxi, Team China collected four out of five titles with Japanese Miu Hirano’s women’s singles success the exception – will China complete the clean sweep this time out or will the big names from the likes of Japan and Korea Republic spring an upset?
More than just silverware and plaudits are on the line at the three continental championships: Nine successful teams at the Liebherr European Championships will book their place at the 2020 World Team Championships in Busan while six teams from the Pan American Championships will also earn their tickets to the Korean port city.
The Asian Championships boast a most impressive reward with the winners of the men’s and women’s team events securing qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In short, the coming month may just hold the most important results for next year!
Keep an eye out for all the exciting tournaments headed your way with the following links: