Ma Long and Xu Xin Head Liebherr 2015 Men’s World Cup Invitation List
Courtesy of ITTF
China’s Ma Long and Xu Xin, currently listed in the respective top two places on the Men’s World Rankings, head the invitation list for the forthcoming Liebherr 2015 Men’s World Cup, to be staged in the Swedish city of Halmstad from Friday October 16th to Sunday October 18th.
They are the two players on duty who are previous winners of the event; the runner up one year ago when beaten in a dramatic final by compatriot, Zhang Jike, Ma Long emerged the victor in the English port city of Liverpool in 2012. Xu Xin won one year later in the small Belgian town of Verviers.
Both are seeking their second successes in what is the 36th edition of the tournament that was first staged in Hong Kong in 1980 and is being held in Europe for the 15th time.
First for Sweden
However, despite all the success that Sweden has enjoyed on the global stage since China’s Guo Yuehua won the inaugural event, it is the first time that the Nordic country has hosted the competition.
In fact it was not until 1995, the 16th staging of the tournament that the event was held in Europe when the French city of Nîmes was the home for three years in succession; the only city to hosted the tournament in consecutive years and one of only three cities to have welcomed the event three times.
The other is Kuala Lumpur which was the host in 1981, 1984 and 1991.
Return to Europe
Four years after the third staging of the event in Nîmes, the tournament returned to Europe with the Italian city of Courmayeur being the home in 2001, before the next three editions saw China the home as the cities of Jinan, Jiangyin and Hangzhou played host.
However, the enterprising skills of Philippe Saive saw the tournament once again in Europe in 2005 with Liège in Belgium being home. Ever since that date, the event has been staged in the old continent.
Asia the prominent home in the first 15 years, the only exception being the Caribbean island of Barbados in 1983 when Sweden enjoyed success in the guise of Mikael Appelgren, now the pendulum has totally swung.
The Liebherr 2015 Men’s World Cup will be the 11th consecutive occasion when Europe has played host.
In 2008 and 2013, the event returned to Belgium being with Liège and Verviers being the respective hosts; in 2006 Paris was the home followed one year later by Barcelona when one of the welcome guests was Juan Antonio Samaranch, the President of the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001.
Later in 2009 Moscow hosted the event to be followed by Magdeburg, Paris and Liverpool with Düsseldorf being the most recent home.
Countdown, there are 50 days to go to the showdown in Halmstad
Confirmation deadline is Friday September 4th.
Invitations (Butterfly Players in Blue)
World Champion: Ma Long (China)
Africa Cup: Omar Assar (Egypt)
Asian Cup: Xu Xin (China), Jun Mizutani (Japan), Tang Peng (Hong Kong), Kim Minseok (Korea), Sharath Kamal Achanta (India), Koki Niwa (Japan), Gao Ning (Singapore)
European Cup: Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany), Marcos Freitas (Portugal), Panagiotis Gionis (Greece), Simon Gauzy (France), Tiago Apolonia (Portugal), Robert Gardos (Austria)
Latin American Cup: Gustavo Tsuboi (Brazil)
North American Cup: Jimmy Butler (United States)
Oceania Cup: William Henzell (Australia)
Host Nation: Kristian Karlsson (Sweden)
Wild Card: Anton Källberg (Sweden)
Liebherr 2015 Men’s World Cup: Media Accreditation