Recently, Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin and Ding Ning have announced that they will participate in the T2 Diamond Tournament which will be held in Malaysia from 18 to 21 July 2019. But why top Chinese players are interested in T2 Diamond tournament. The previous season, there are no top Chinese players. I will explain the real reason that Ma Long plays in T2 Diamond tournament right now.
What is T2 Diamond Tournament
The T2 Diamond was originally named T2 APAC (Asian Pacific Table Tennis) Tournament, held for the first time in 2017.
The total prize is 1.5 million USD reaching the highest award in the world table tennis history! In 2019, the T2 prize changed its name to T2 Diamond Award and the competition are also changed, from the mixed team to the men’s and women’s singles.
Each category includes a total of 16 players. This year’s T2 tournament is divided into 3 tours, the first tour is in Malaysia (18 July to 21 July 2019). There are possible 3 rounds:
Seamaster T2 Diamond 2019 Malaysia
|18 – 21 July 2019||Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, Johor Bahru, Malaysia|
T2 Diamond 2019 China
|26 – 29 September 2019||Missions Hills Resort, Haikou, China|
T2 Diamond 2019 Singapore
|21 – 24 November 2019||Our Tampines Hub, Singapore|
For the Olympics 2020
In 2017 and 2018 T2 APAC Tournament, top Chinese athletes did not participate in this tournament, but this year because of the ITTF accumulation system has changed, they had to participate to accumulate personal ranking points. All are for the Olympics 2020.
Olympics Tokyo 2020 Table Tennis is coming!
The champion of this tournament will get 1,000 points, second place 800 points, third place 700 points, 9th to 16th grade will be 400 points, far more than the popular World Tour tournament with 540 points for the first round. By participating in this tournament, you get a much higher point in the ITTF tournament.
For the ITTF World Series, if you want to get 1,000 points you must to the quarterfinals. Therefore, the T2 Award becomes more important, and it is understandable that the athletes will be able to accumulate points to take advantage of opportunities for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!
Who will join T2 Diamond 2019
As a rule, top 15 ITTF athletes plus 1 Japanese player will be invited to participate in this tournament. The Chinese side will have 5 players: Ma Long, Xu Xin, Fan Zhen Dong, Ding Ning, and Zhu Yu Ling. The Japanese side consists of 7 participants: Harimoto Tomokazu, Mizutani Jun, Koki Niwa, Ito Mima, Hirano Miu, Ishikawa, and Kato Miyu.
Full list of announced players:
|Ma Long (CHN)||Wang Manyu (CHN)|
|Lin Gaoyuan (CHN)||Chen Meng (CHN)|
|Xu Xin (CHN)||Liu Shiwen (CHN)|
|Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN)||Zhu Yuling (CHN)|
|Mattias Falck (SWE)||Ding Ning (CHN)|
|Liang Jingkun (CHN)||Mima Ito (JPN)|
|Fan Zhendong (CHN)||Sun Yingsha (CHN)|
|Jun Mizutani (JPN)||Feng Tianwei (SGP)|
|Wong Chun Ting (HKG)||Cheng I-Ching (TPE)|
|Lin Yun-Ju (TPE)||Miu Hirano (JPN)|
|Wang Chuqin (CHN)||Chen Szu-Yu (TPE)|
|Patrick Franziska (GER)||Doo Hoi Kem (HKG)|
|Hugo Calderano (BRA)||Sofia Polcanova (AUT)|
|Koki Niwa (JPN)||Kasumi Ishikawa (JPN)|
|Dimitrij Ovtcharov (GER)||Miyu Kato (JPN)|
|Timo Boll (GER)||Bernadette Szocs (ROU)|
In July, there will also be 2 World Tour tournaments and then T2 Diamond. The schedule is very dense. Take a look at the calendar this year.
After the T2 Diamond, there will be the Chinese National Games, making the schedule of the already dense Chinese athletes even more overwhelming! And it is also a great physical challenge for veterans like Ma Long Xu Xin and Ding Ning! They are more prone to common injuries in table tennis.
More about Ma Long: