(by Steve Hopkins)
Fan Zhendong, Ma Long, Harimoto, Calderano, Ovtcharov and a long list of championship hopefuls are converging in Weihai this Friday. The table tennis world has waited 8 months to see those players in competition. The second of the ITTF RESTART events, the Dishang 2020 ITTF Men’s World Cup is here.
Twenty one of the world’s best have finished with an isolation period, and are ready to get started. The 21 players include the current World Champion, 17 continental cup qualifiers, and additional players seeded by World Ranking with a maximum of 2 entries per country. Thirteen players will compete in groups, with the top 8 advancing (2 per group) to face the top 8 seeds.
The U.S. is represented by Kanak Jha. He is the 27 ranked player in the world and will be seeded 15th. He will start as the second seed in his group and will need to hold that position in order to advance. Kanak in one of only three players from this hemisphere, joining Brazilians Hugo Calderano and Gustavo Tsuboi. Overall, there are 9 players from Asia, 7 from Europe, 2 from South America, 2 from Africa, 1 from North America.
The draw has not been posted yet, so the exact path of each player is uncertain. What is certain, is that every match will be closely contested as the event is a collection of only the World’s best.
Check in at ButterflyOnline.com starting Thursday for updates on the progress of this event and other events.
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