DONIC invites to the table
For table tennis fans it’s the highlight of the year 2016 on German ground and the scene of competition is Saarbrücken, Germany. From 1st to 3rd October the Men’s World Cup takes place in the Saarlandhalle – it’s the third time that it takes place in Germany at all (after Magdeburg 2007 and Düsseldorf 2014) and for the first time in the Saarland.
For DONIC star Dimitrij Ovtcharov who became third at the World Cup in Halmstad (Sweden) in October this year, the prestigious tournament in next year will be a home game for him. The European Champion won’t only have the German fans that support him, but also perfect playing conditions as usual, as tables and nets are again supplied by the traditional German company DONIC which has been Dima’s equipment supplier since he has been a child already. The company is based in Völklingen which is very close to Saarbrücken and it can be very happy to welcome the best players in the world almost outside of her own front door.
150.000 dollars price money, 45.000 of them for the winner, the big stars from Asia and Europe, but also from Africa, America and Oceania, a tightly arranged tournament format – they play from Saturday to Monday (Monday is a public holiday in Germany) – on only two tables: The World Cup offers again best conditions for both fans and players. Additionally the number of spectators in the Saarland is quite high”, says Michael Geiger, president of the German Table Tennis Association. This has also been one of the reasons why the event was awarded to Saarbrücken. Klaus Bouillon, Minister of the interior of the Saarland, has committed himself personally for Saarbrücken as the scene for this World Cup. And fans from the close-by regions such as Rhineland-Palatinate, Luxembourg and France, but also from the whole world will probably care that tickets for the Saarlandhalle will be sold out soon.
Bouillon points out that without DONIC’s engagement it wouldn’t have been possible to get the World Cup 2016 to Saarbrücken. “I’m also very pleased that with Jörgen Persson, the former player of the ATSV Saarbrücken, we have found an outstanding representative for Saarbrücken (several times World- and European Champion)”, says Bouillon. This is where it comes full circle: The DONIC star Persson hasn’t only a personal connection to Saarbrücken, where he used to play in the Bundesliga, but also one to Dima Ovtcharov whose coach he is today.
Next year it will be the 37th time that this traditional tournament, which has highest importance in the world of table tennis after the Olympic Games and the World Championships, is hold. Even for China’s stars it isn’t easy to qualify for the World Cup as there are only two participants allowed per nation. Whoever is able to qualify won’t miss the opportunity to come to Saarbrücken in the Olympic year 2016. And DONIC invites to the table.