BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) — The Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) announced that it will stage an Olympic simulation competition in early May.
The 2021 WTT (World Table Tennis) Grand Smashes Trials and Olympic Simulation will be staged in Xinxiang, central China’s Henan Province between May 3 and 7. The move comes less than 90 days before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, and with almost zero chance of international tournaments being staged prior to the Games.
A total of 36 men’s and women’s players apiece will play in singles matches, while the mixed doubles event features a total of 16 pairs.
The CTTA has selected participants using a wide range of parameters, including players qualifying for the singles final stage of China’s 14th National Games, men’s and women’s singles finalists at the 2020 National Junior Championships (U18 and U15 categories), and those qualifying through the trials.
According to the CTTA, this arrangement aims to develop young players of different ages in a planned manner, not just focusing on the Tokyo Olympics preparation but also long-term selection and preparation for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
The format of the competition will mimic that of the Olympic Games. Participants for the singles event are divided into eight groups and will play in a round-robin format. The first stage will be contested in a best-of-five format, while the second phase and knockout matches will be best-of-seven. Mixed doubles matches are played in a knockout format in best-of-seven.
Apart from warming up for the Olympics, the simulation competition also offers the chance to qualify for other tournaments, including the WTT Grand Smashes, the World Championships in Houston and the China Table Tennis Super League, the first time that the CTTA has incorporated the WTT Grand Smashes and World Championships spots in an Olympic simulation competition.
CTTA president Liu Guoliang thinks that the upcoming competition has broken a tradition that only national team players were entitled to take part in the trials, and will offer more chances for provincial players, especially high-caliber youngsters.
“The competition will fully motivate all participants to unleash their competitiveness, so as to test our Olympic squad and drill on a competitive framework towards the Paris Olympics,” commented Liu. Enditem