SINGAPORE – Olympic champions Chen Meng and Fan Zhendong, as well as Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, will showcase their world-class table tennis skills at the OCBC Arena when Singapore hosts the inaugural World Table Tennis Cup Finals from December 4-7.
On Thursday (November 25), the WTT confirmed that the US$600,000 (S$819,000) event will feature 16 of the world’s top 20 players from each of the men’s and women’s singles categories, with equal prize money.
With secure controls, up to 900 fans are allowed to attend each session. All participants must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognized by the Government of Singapore or must be tested prior to the event.
World No. 11 Feng, who has lived in Japan for over a year and is currently in the United States to compete in the World Table Tennis Championships, told The Straits Times that she is looking forward to returning home.
The 35-year-old said: “It’s great that such a big table tennis event can be held in Singapore and that I get the chance to play an international tournament at home.
“I miss home and can’t wait to catch up with friends and eat my favorite local foods like durian and bak kut teh (pork rib soup).”
The sale of the tickets priced from $38 to $258 will begin Friday at 3 p.m. through the box office of the OCBC Arena, sistic authorized agents, and telephone hotline (+65 6348-5555).
After weeks of working with Sport Singapore to make this event possible, WTT Director Steve Dainton said: “The table tennis community and Singapore share a special bond and we are delighted to have Singapore as the first-ever host of the WTT Cup Finals.
“We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with the Lion City and continuing to host world-class events there.”
The last time top table tennis players appeared in Singapore was when the T2 Diamond Singapore event was held in 2019, with 1,900 fans showing up for the final at Our Tampines Hub.
Lim Teck Yin, Head of Sport Singapore, added: “We are honored to host the inaugural WTT Cup Finals. Hosting the event in Singapore demonstrates our commitment to bring sport back safely to everyone. The WTT Cup Finals is an excellent opportunity to enliven our local table tennis community and inspire more young athletes to participate in the sport.”
Singapore Table Tennis Association president Ellen Lee said: We are so excited that the WTT Cup Finals are coming to Singapore. I know that our Singaporean table tennis fans are already looking forward to seeing top players in action… and STTA will support us to make the tournament a success.
The WTT is a commercial vehicle that the International Table Tennis Federation launched in 2020. In March last year, it announced a new event structure that will more than double the total prize money on its circuit to US$13 million (S$17.4 million) per year. .
Modeled after the Grand Slams of tennis, the top tier will feature four Grand Smash tournaments, with each 10-day event featuring 64 men’s and women’s singles players in the main draw, as well as doubles competitions. Clearly Singapore is in the running to host one of these next year.
There will be three other levels under the WTT series. These include the WTT Cup Finals and the WTT Champion Series, which features four male and female events for the 32 highest-ranked paddlers.
Lower-ranked and up-and-coming players can participate in the WTT Contender Series, which is split into the Star Contender and Contender leagues, allowing for more qualifiers.
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