(by Simon Daish)
The inaugural season of the T2 Asia-Pacific League (T2 APAC) is almost upon us, and excitement levels continue to grow as the player selections for the four teams have finally been shown off.
Team JJ, led by former double World champion Jiang Jialiang, includes the vastly experienced Vladimir Samsonov and the superstar teenage talent of Tomokazu Harimoto.
The other players selected for the team are Chuang Chih-Yuan, Wu Yang, Jeon Jihee and Matilda Ekholm.
Captain Michael Maze, who was extremely well known for his incredible defensive masterclasses during his playing career, is hoping to delight table tennis fans again with his strong squad for the competition which stars Timo Boll and Feng Tianwei as the two headline acts.
Team Maze’s strength doesn’t stop there as Chen Chien-An, Alexander Shibaev, Yang Haeun and Hina Hayata also make the lineup.
Former Olympic silver medallist and current coach of Germany’s men’s team Jörg Rosskopf will captain Team Rossi, with German star Dimitrij Ovtcharov playing under his leadership.
The squad also consists of former European Women’s Singles champion Elizabeta Samara, with Cheng I-Ching and Georgina Pota taking the two remaining female positions in the team. Shang Kun and Paul Drinkhall claim the remaining spots for male players.
World champion Ding Ning is joined by fellow stars of the women’s game Bernadette Szőcs and Suthasini Sawettabut, while Jun Mizutani, Joo Saehyuk and Mattias Karlsson have also been selected for the side.