World Table Tennis News Roundup – 04/19/21
ITTF/WTT has made a series of pandemic-related announcements to their event schedule in the last couple weeks. We summarize the news in this post.
No High-Profile International Events Until the Tokyo Olympics
On April 8, ITTF announced that the WTT China Hub would not be happening until after the Tokyo Olympics. The implication appears to be there will be no WTT Europe Hub either. This means that there are no high-profile, star-studded international events until the Tokyo Olympics unless you really want to see Timo Boll vs Darko Jorgic in the Bundesliga finals.
China Plans Olympic Scrimmage on May 3-7
Although there will be no international events, China will be hosting an Olympic scrimmage on May 3-7. The event will also double as a qualification tournament for WTT China and the World Championships. Fan Zhendong, Ma Long, and Xu Xin are all expected to play in the men’s singles event. Ding Ning is unlikely to play as she seems to be out of the running for the Tokyo Olympics, but Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha, Liu Shiwen, and Wang Manyu are all likely to play. Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen are expected to team up for the mixed doubles event.
Here is some of the promotional material:
2021 World Championships In Houston, USA
The 2021 World Championships will be held in Houston, USA on November 23-29.
ITTF Announces Changes to the World Ranking System
As discussed on Table Tennis Daily, on April 14 ITTF announced yet another change to the world ranking system for Olympic seeding purposes, making our previous rankings analysis somewhat obsolete. The change appears to be largely driven by the postponement of WTT China. Notably, Mima Ito is now ranked below Sun Yingsha for the second seed and Lin Yun-Ju is ranked below Hugo Calderano for the fourth seed. Depending on the exact seeding rules used at the Olympics (at the moment, it is not very clear), this may influence China’s Olympic women’s singles selection process.