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Table Tennis: World Tour extends to 21 countries, five continents in 2014

The Korea Open has been promoted to a Super Series event on the 2014 GAC Group World Tour. Photo: ITTF

The Korea Open has been promoted to a Super Series event on the 2014 GAC Group World Tour. Photo: ITTF

October 3, 2013: The Korea Open has been promoted to a Super Series event on next year’s GAC Group ITTF World Tour, which will feature 21 tournaments in different countries across five continents, the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) has announced.

 

The six Super Series events – five of which are in Asia – offer the most prize money and ranking points, and form the World Tour’s top tier followed by the Europe-focused Major Series and the 11-stop Challenge Series that reaches across the globe.

 

In 2014, the Korea Open will join the five current Super Series events in Kuwait, Qatar, Germany, Japan and China. The Major Series will comprise the traditional Open events in Sweden, Russia, Spain and the Czech Republic.

 

Philippines, Nigeria and Argentina will make their World Tour debut as part of next year’s Challenge Series, reflecting the growing demand for table tennis across the globe.

 

Australia will also feature, having last hosted a Tour event in 1999, while Hungary, Belgium and Chile return after a year’s absence. Brazil, Croatia, Belarus and Morocco retain their place on the schedule.

 

Judit Farago, CEO of the ITTF, said: “The ITTF is very happy about the high level of interest and the number of new associations that applied to host a GAC Group 2014 World Tour event.

 

“With the varied locations across the world, the 2014 World Tour gives an opportunity to every professional table tennis player to play on the world stage. The World Tour will enter its 19th year in 2014 and it’s to our great satisfaction that it reaches out to all five continents.”

 

The leading players’ main goal is to gain enough points from these 21 events to qualify for the US$1 million GAC Group World Tour Grand Finals in December.

 

2014 GAC Group ITTF World Tour

Jan 29-Feb 1: Hungarian Open, Szombathely – Challenge Series

Feb 12-16:      Kuwait Open, Kuwait City – Super Series

Feb 19-23:      Qatar Open, Doha – Super Series

Mar 20-23:       Morocco Open, Rabat – Challenge Series

Mar 26-30:       German Open, Magdeburg – Super Series

Apr 2-6:           Spanish Open, Almeria – Major Series

Apr 10-13:       Chile Open, Santiago de Chile – Challenge Series

May 15-18:     Philippines Open, Manila – Challenge Series

May 21-24:     Zagreb (Croatian) Open, Zagreb – Challenge Series

May 21-25:     Australian Open, Sydney – Challenge Series

Jun 11-15:       Korea Open, TBD – Super Series

Jun 18-22:       Japan Open, Yokohama – Super Series

Jun 23-26:       Lagos (Nigerian) Open, Lagos – Challenge Series

Aug 21-24:      Belarus Open, Minsk – Challenge Series

Aug 27-31:      Czech Open, Olomouc – Major Series

Sep 4-7:          Argentina Open, Buenos Aires – Challenge Series

Sep 10-13:      Flanders (Belgium) Open, De Haan – Challenge Series

Sep 11-14:      Brazil Open, Santos – Challenge Series

29 Oct-Nov 2: Russian Open, Nizhny Novgorod – Major Series

Nov 5-9:          China Open, TBD – Super Series

Nov 12-16:      Swedish Open, Stockholm – Major Series

Dec 11-14:      GAC Group World Tour Grand Finals, TBD

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