The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced the schedule and the host cities of all the 12 events scheduled for the 2020 ITTF World Tour.
The World Tour will consist of 6 ITTF World Tour Platinum and 6 regular ITTF World Tour events. The ITTF World Tour Platinum events offer more prize money and a higher level of organization.
The opening event will be the German Open, in a city yet to be confirmed, from January 28 to February 2. It will be followed by the Qatar Open in Doha from March 3 to 8, the Japan Open in Kitakyushu from April 21 to 26, the China Open in Shenzhen from May 12 to 17, the Australian Open in Geelong from June 23 to 28, and the Austrian Open in Linz from November 10 to 15.
The first of the regular ITTF World Tour events will be the Hungarian Open in Budapest from February 18 to 23. The Hong Kong Open is then scheduled for May 5 to 10 and the Korea Open, in a city yet to be confirmed, will take place from June 16 to 21. The calendar is completed by the Czech Open in Olomouc from August 25 to 30, the Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte from September 1 to 6, and the Swedish Open in Stockholm from November 3 to 8.
"The 2020 ITTF World Tour will be the last run under the current commercial rights," ITTF competition director Vicky Eleftheriade said.
The 2020 ITTF World Tour will play a significant role in the lead up to the Olympic Games being held in the same year in Japan’s capital Tokyo. The world ranking points gained by players at the 2020 ITTF World Tour events through to May will have an impact on the seeding for the Olympics.
Furthermore, up to five mixed doubles pairs will be qualifying directly from a "few" of the World Tour events, taking place until April.
The host of the 2020 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, which will offer prize money of $1 million (£775,000/€883,000), is due to be announced shortly.
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Suposh Sharma, keenly follows Hockey, Athletics, and other Olympic sports. He also has a penchant for writing humour and is an avid traveller