For many of the table tennis players, the 2016 ITTF World Tour Korea Open will be the last international competition before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The Korea Open main draw, which starts tomorrow 24 June 2016 in Incheon, Korea, will be the last chance for the Olympians to get valuable world ranking points for Rio 2016 seeding.
CHUANG Chih-Yuan (TPE), who had a disappointing first round defeat at last week’s Japan Open is desperately looking for world ranking points to jump above Jun MIZUTANI (JPN). If the world number seven is able to do this, he will get the valuable number four seeding position in Rio, which means he won’t meet a Chinese player until the semifinals.
On the Rio seeding situation CHUANG stated: “I am trying not to think about the seeding too much for the Olympic Games, of course they are important, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I am just trying to work out what flaws are still in my game and trying to fix them before Rio.”
One person who is not worried at all about Rio 2016 seeding is FAN Zhendong. The 19-year-old world number two, who won the Japan Open last week was sensationally left out of the Chinese Olympic team and will be watching the event from home.
Despite not going to Rio, FAN is still determined to do well here in Korea: “Winning the Japan Open certainly gave me more confidence, it also showed the result of my training, and I hope to continue playing well in Korea.”Ã‚Â
FAN’s teammate and world number one MA Long will be using the Korea Open to get back his winning ways before Rio 2016 after losing in the semifinals in Japan. This was the World Champion’s only second loss in the past 12 months. He will be hoping it’s his last until Rio 2016 match.
World Champion DING Ning (CHN), the current top seed for Olympic Singles, will also be fighting to prove herself and stay on top of the rankings, after her surprise defeat to Japan’s 15-year-old Mima ITO in the recent ITTF-Asia Olympic Qualification Tournament, and Japan final loss to teammate LIU Shiwen.
The Japanese duo of Kasumi ISHIKAWA who will be the number two seed in Rio and Ai FUKUHARA will be desperate to find some form here in Korea. The duo was knocked out very early in their home event last week, so they need to win some matches to gain momentum for Rio.
Qualification for the main draw of 32 started yesterday 22 June and concludes today, before the knockout main draw begins on Friday 24 June and the winners will be crowned on Sunday 26 June.
The Korea Open is the 12th of the 20 events on the 2016 ITTF World Tour and the fifth Super Series event of the year. The ITTF World Tour is categorized into three tiers: Super (six events) Major (six events) and Challenge (eight events). The higher the tier, the higher the prize money, better playing conditions and tougher competition for the title.
All the players playing ITTF World Tour events are fighting for not only for prize money and world ranking points, but also World Tour ranking points to qualify for the lucrative World Tour Grand Finals, taking place on 8-11 December 2016 in Doha, Qatar.
The 2016 ITTF World Tour is set to be the most extensively followed tour in history, with more events shown live throughout the world on television, and all the events being shown live on ITTF’s live streaming platform, ITTF.com/itTV.
In addition to the men’s and women’s singles event at the Korea Open, the world’s best players will also be playing men’s and women’s doubles and the stars of the future will be lining up in the men’s and women’s under 21 events.