ITTF World Tour marks anniversary with Hungarian Open

Segun Toriola of Nigeria serves to Jorge

Segun Toriola of Nigeria

Segun Toriola of Nigeria
Segun Toriola of Nigeria

The International Table Tennis Federation, ITTF, World Tour celebrated its 20 years anniversary with the 2016 ITTF World Tour kicking off Wednesday, 20 January in Budapest, Hungary.

The then ITTF Pro Tour first kicked off in Kettering, England in 1996 and has seen 291 events happen since, growing from strength to strength each year.

On the historic anniversary of the world’s biggest table tennis tour, ITTF’s CEO Judit Farago stated: “20 years after introducing the professional tour in table tennis, we are glad that the all-year long competition format has grown to be a core element of the ITTF competition program.

“This year, five continents are included in the series which gives excellent opportunity for the top players to improve their seeding position for the Olympic Games by gaining valuable World Ranking points. Also for those players to succeed at the World Tour who cannot realise their dream at Rio 2016. The great interest is shown already at the very first event, the Hungarian Open where last year’s participation record will be broken with 378 entries from 56 countries,” ITTF website quoted Farago to have said Wednesday.

The 20 ITTF World Tour events will take place in 2016 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tour. The notable addition from 2015 is Slovenia, which will be hosting an ITTF World Tour event for the first time since 2012.

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The 20 events on the 2016 ITTF World Tour are split into three tiers: Super (6 events) Major series (6 events) and Challenge (9 events). The higher the tier, the higher the prize money, better playing conditions and tougher competition.

All the players playing ITTF World Tour events are fighting not only for prize money and world ranking points, but also World Tour ranking points to qualify for the lucrative World Tour Grand Final, taking place on 15-18 December 2016 in a location to be announced.

The 2016 ITTF World Tour is set to be the most extensively followed tour in history, with more events shown live throughout the world on television.

The qualifications for the ITTF World Tour World Tour Hungarian Open (Major) starts Wednesday, 20 January, 2016, with the main draw starting on 22 January and the finals matches on 24 January, 2016.

The ITTF World Tour Super Series kicks off a week later at the German Open on 27 January, 2016.

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