Feng confirmed for new table tennis league
A list of 13 names for the inaugural T2 Asia-Pacific Table Tennis League season was released by the organisers yesterday.
The likes of Singapore's Feng Tianwei, Belarus' Vladimir Samsonov and Taiwan's Cheng I-ching will be among the eventual roster of 24 players.
In a press release, T2 Apac CEO and commissioner Jeff Chue said: "After sharing the concept of T2 Apac with many of the top players from all over the world in the past few months, we are very excited to unveil our first batch of players who have signed on for the inaugural season."
However, players from China - the sport's powerhouses - were conspicuously absent from yesterday's list. China has its own Chinese Table Tennis Super League.
When contacted, a league spokesman said: "Discussions are ongoing with various top players from all over the world, including China.
"There are definitely plans to include top Chinese players in the inaugural season of the T2 Asia-Pacific Table Tennis League.
"We will unveil the names of the remaining 11 players once they are confirmed in the coming weeks."
The US$1.5 million (S$2.15m) competition will run from July to December, and scheduled to complement the International Table Tennis Federation tournament calendar.
The 24 paddlers - 12 men and 12 women - will be split into four mixed teams via a draft selection process, with innovations such as 24-minute matches and a "unique scoring system".
CONFIRMED LIST OF PLAYERS
Feng Tianwei (Singapore), Cheng I-ching, Chen Chien-an (both from Taiwan), Paul Drinkhall (England), Elizabeta Samara (Romania), Vladimir Samsonov (Belarus), Joo Saehyuk, Yang Ha Eun, Jeon Jihee (all from South Korea), Aleksandr Shibaev (Russia), Georgina Pota (Hungary), Matilda Ekholm (Sweden), Suthasini Sawettabut (Thailand).