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China Daily Website

Paris World Table Tennis Championships attract record entry

Updated: 2013-05-13 10:36

PARIS - The 52nd edition of the world's premier table tennis event will be held in the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, from May 13-20, with a record of 463 men and 360 women participating.

The players are from 130 countries and regions competing for the five gold medals on offer - men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.

ITTF President Adham Sharara said, "We are back in Paris ten years after the great success of the World Championships in 2003. We are in the same venue again, a nostalgic feeling for sure, but a big change.

"This year we will see an all-time record in the number of participants. It would seem that our member associations have a great appetite for World Championships."

The Chinese has named a full-strength team with 23 players and are looking to defend the clean sweep of titles they won at the 2011 worlds in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

"I am not really concerned of being the top seed", said world No 1 Xu Xin of China. "The world ranking is just about placements, it is not enough to give you good results; so I still adopt a lower profile and have a positive attitude to fight."

Germany's Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov head the challenge to Chinese supremacy.

In the women's side, world No 1 Ding Ning will seek to gain revenge for the disappointment of losing to Chinese national teammate Li Xiaoxia in last year's Olympic final.

Li is the third seed in Paris behind another teammate Liu Shiwen.

Belgium's Jean-Michel Saive, 43, will be playing in a record 22nd consecutive World Championships, a voyage that started in 1988 and shows no signs of stopping.

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