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Asia-Europe table tennis All-Star challenge to start in Beijing

2010-04-13 14:24 BJT

Annual Asia-Europe table tennis all-star challenge will kick off here on Tuesday, as China's former world No. 1 Wang Liqin heads the Asian side.

As one of the sport's most spectacular promotion event, the All-Star challenge, slated on Tuesday and Thursday, features top men paddlers from Asia and Europe, five each, for a two-day competition under a team format.

This year, it brings Jun Mizutani of Japan, Joo Se Hyuk of South Korea, Cheung Yuk from Hong Kong and Yang Zi of Singapore to join Wang Liqin on the Asian side.

On the other side are former European champion Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, Super Dane Michael Maze, German sensation Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the 2003 world champion Werner Schlager of Austria and Swedish veteran Jorgen Persson.

Each paddler will play two matches following an order decided jointly by the Asian and European table tennis Union.

The match will be played for best of five, 11 points per game, while the victory will be determined by total scores from two days' matches. The winner will be the team winning more matches on aggregate.

Unlike the inaugural edition, also in Beijing, which had two Chinese players Ma Lin and Ma Long in the Asian team, the 2010 All-Star challenge narrowed down the probability to one player from each association.

The change is designed to make the competition more unpredictable and interesting, explained an organizing official Li Zhenguo, also vice director of the Chinese table tennis and badminton administrative center.

And Timo Boll, with the highest world ranking among European men paddlers, opted to skip the event citing a busy calendar and his back injury, according to the European Table Tennis Union chairman Stefano Bosi.

Editor: Su Yu | Source: Xinhua