THE world’s top-ranked men’s players including Olympic champion, China’s Ma Long, current ITTF World Tour Standing No.1 Lin Gaoyuan (China) and 16-year-old Japanese sensation Tomokazu Harimoto – the youngest ever winner of an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title at just 14 years and 61 days – will be battling it out at Seamaster T2 Diamond 2019 Malaysia from July 18 to 21 at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios.
Chen Meng (China), who has 13 ITTF titles to her name up to her recent victory at the 2019 China Open, World Champion Liu Shiwen (China) with 16 ITTF World Tour titles and Singapore’s first Olympic medallist Feng Tianwei will be among the women’s players competing for honours.
The qualification cut-off was based on the top 15 World Tour-ranked men’s and women’s players after the China Open that was held at the end of May, with the addition of Season 1’s Men’s Champion Timo Boll of Germany and Women’s Champion Bernadette Szocs of Romania as host exemptions.
T2 Diamond chief executive officer and commissioner Jeff Chue said: “The world’s most riveting table tennis tournament – Seamaster T2 Diamond 2019 Malaysia – is revving up for the start of its second season with a star-studded list of the world’s top players.
“This marks the beginning of the first in three tournaments, where 32 of the world’s best table tennis players will compete for a combined prize purse of USD$1.5mil (RM6.3mil) and bonus ITTF World Ranking points as they battle their way to 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualification.”
“We are introducing the first-of-a-kind circular field of play at the T2Cavern, where viewers and audiences alike will get a 360° view of all the action as it unfolds. With a total of 32 matches played across the four-day event, you will witness fast-paced table tennis at its very best; the energy reverberating through the field will be impalpable,” he added.
The new and dynamic T2 Diamond format was introduced for the first time in professional table tennis in 2017, with matches held under a 24-minute time limit and a progressive competition format that seeks to amplify the appeal of table tennis across regions.
The tournament breaks away from the traditional table tennis match format with a fast-paced and exciting gameplay for players and audience alike.
T2Cavern features a single table set-up with the aim of having an intimate competition arena designed to boost both the player and audience experience. With light, sound and action, table tennis is transformed into a truly entertaining spectator sport, while providing players with the ultimate environment in which to compete and excel.