World class players get together in Macau for Pro Tour table tennis finals

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Issue 554, Page 8
Word count: 521
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

World class table tennis players have flocked to Macau and prepared themselves for the 2008 Volkswagen Pro Tour Grand Finals which will commence today for the first time ever in the region.

The events being held until December 14 at the Tap Seac Sport Pavilion will consist of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, as well as under 21 men’s and women’s singles.

The Volkswagen Pro Tour is the top level tournament of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and this year it comes to Macau and is organised by the Macau Sport Development Board and the Macau Table Tennis Association.

Olympics gold medallists and world championships winners are among the top players who will compete for the crowns of the 2008 Pro Tour by showing off their skills and techniques for the first time in the SAR.

In the men’s singles event, the spotlights have gone to mainland China’s Wang Hao, Ma Lin and Ma Long who were ranked respectively the first, the second and the third in the world as of December 2, 2008 according to the ITTF.

Also, among the 16 players in the men’s singles, they include Li Ching who is best known for the doubles silver medal he won in partnership with Ko Lai Chak for Hong Kong at the 2004 Athens Olympic.

Meanwhile in the women’s singles event, Li Xiaoxia, Guo Yue and Guo Yan from mainland China who got respectively the second, the third and the fifth place in the ITTP world ranking will compete with other 13 players from such as Singapore, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Korea.

Macau players Leong Kin Wa, Ma Chao In, Che Weng Heng and Chong Weng I are also among the finalists of the singles and doubles events.

On the other hand, respectively eight players are in the under – 21 (U21) men’s and women’s singles, who include Marcos Freitas from Portugal and Daniela Dodean from Romania who both ranked eighth in the world as of December 2, 2008.

Today’s events will start at 10am which are round one to round three of U21 men’s and women’s singles and quarter-finals of men’s and women’s doubles.

Tomorrow the tournament will enter into the semi-finals of U21 and doubles events, and then the finals of U21 singles which will be followed by an award ceremony of U21 events at 4.30pm.

From 7pm to 9.15pm tomorrow, men’s and women’s singles events will be held and after which, respectively eight players will be eliminated.

On Saturday men’s and women’s singles will enter into quarter finals starting 2pm, while on Sunday grand finals of both doubles and singles events will be played.

An award ceremony for the singles and doubles winners will be staged after 9.15pm when the men’s singles final is completed.

For full details of the events schedule, visit http://www.sport.gov.mo.

In addition to a prize money of US$38,000, the men’s and women’s singles champions will receive a Scirocco sports coupe sponsored by Volkswagen Hong Kong Ltd.

Admission tickets of all events are of 60 patacas or 100 patacas and can be purchased in local Circle K convenience stores.

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