Singapore, 15 January 2019 – T2 Diamond, a prestigious series of annual professional table tennis events has confirmed the qualification criteria for its three Men’s and Women’s Singles Championships to be staged in 2019; following ratification by the International Table Tennis Federation’s executive committee.
The distinguished T2 Diamond Championships will feature the world’s best players, a total prize purse of USD 1.5 million, and a progressive competition format that creates a fresh and bold entertainment experience for table tennis athletes and fans across the globe.
Player qualification will be based on the ITTF World Tour Standings, ensuring the participation of the world’s elite players. The top-15 men and 15-women, based on the World Tour Standings at specific qualification cut-off dates, will be invited to compete in each T2 Diamond Championship. Additionally, two nominations (1 men & 1 women) will be granted to each Host City or Venue Partner as a “Host Exemption”.
Players will earnWorld Ranking Points, which directly impacts the ITTF World Ranking Standings. These points are awarded as a bonus, in addition to the top 8 results tabulated by the ITTF World Rankings.
With three T2 Diamond Championships in 2019, these ‘bonus’ World Ranking Points will inevitably impact the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic qualification process.
“With the impressive prize money and bonus World Ranking Points at stake, T2 Diamond will definitely be an event all players would be looking to participate in, especially prior to the lead up towards the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games,” commentedVladimir Samsonov, former world ranked no 1 player
“T2 strives to be the catalyst for change and fully embraces innovation and new ideas. With this progressive competition format, I hope that T2 is able to raise the profile of table tennis so that the true beauty of this remarkable sport can be appreciated by a wider global audience,” said Jeff Chue, CEO & Commissioner, T2 Diamond.
Commenting on this announcement, ITTF CEO, Steve Dainton states, “T2 Diamond gives the ITTF the perfect opportunity to test creative innovations, pushing the boundaries of the sport. This will open up the commercial potential for table tennis, and we’re excited to see what else we can bring to the table.”
In 2017, T2 successfully introduced for the first time ever in professional table tennis, a time limited match format, and a single table set-up within an intimate competition arena designed to heighten player and audience experience in the venue. This format will provide the basis for the three T2 Diamond tournaments in 2019, with the venues to be announced shortly.