Three-month countdown to the Team World Cup!

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Please note - this news article was published more than three years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

With the Team World Cup only three months away, England No 1 Paul Drinkhall is hoping a big crowd can cheer England to success at the Copper Box Arena.

Tickets are selling well for the prestigious event, with half the available seats for the finals on Sunday February 25 already sold.

And Drinkhall would love to see a full house for every session before that as England Leopards go toe-to-toe with the other top nations.

He said:

I’m excited to play such a big event in London. Hopefully we get a lot of spectators in and they are lively – that can only have a positive effect and really push us on.

There’s a lot of strong teams there and it’s good that we’re there by rights and are one of them. On the day and as a team, we can challenge anybody – we pushed China at the Olympics, even though we lost 3-0. It’s all to play for.

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Drinkhall believes having competed at the T2 event in Malaysia this year, practising and competing against – and beating – some of England’s possible World Cup opponents, will stand him in good stead on a personal level.

He beat top-10 players Timo Boll and Jun Mizutani, and a host of other big names, during the series, when he was also team-mates with Germany’s individual World Cup champion Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

Drinkhall said:

Playing against them and practising with them regularly has helped me and helped my game. I’ve got a lot of experience and belief from playing in T2. Hopefully I can take that into the Team World Cup and on to the Commonwealth Games too.

Meanwhile, the final line-up of nations for the Team World Cup has now been confirmed as follows:

Men – China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, England, Brazil, Egypt, USA, Australia.

Women – China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Romania, North Korea, USA, Brazil, England, Egypt, Australia.

Although the seedings and draw will not be finalised until the ITTF team rankings are published at the start of February, it is known that the top seeds in each group will play the third seeds during session 1, which begins at 10am on Thursday February 22.

Session 2, from 5pm on the same day, will see the top two in each group meet each other. The morning session on Friday February 23 will see the ties between the No 2 and No 3 teams in each group.

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