2018 Asia-Europe All Stars Challenge
Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th August
Zhang Jike ready for European challenge
Located in Jiangsu province in eastern China, the city of Nantong will be the host for the forthcoming 2018 Asia-Europe All Stars Challenge.
Commencing each day at 2.00pm (local time) play will take place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th August.
A maximum of one representative per national association notably from the host nation, Zhang Jike, other than Ma Long the only player to have held the Olympic Games, World Championships and Men’s World Cup titles at the same time, is on duty.
He lines up in the Asian team alongside Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu, Japan’s Koki Niwa and Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan.
Meanwhile, for Europe, Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson are on duty alongside Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus and Germany’s Bastien Steger.
Avenging the defeat of two years ago when the result was 6-4 in favour of Asia is the task for the European visitors but it is a much different team to that which travelled to Dongguan in the south of China in 2016. Only Vladimir Samsonov remains; on that occasion his colleagues were Russia’s Alexander Shibaev, Croatia’s Andrej Gacina, Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and Austria’s Chen Weixing.
Similarly, there is a different look to the Asian outfit; Chuang Chih-Yuan and Wong Chun Ting remain but there are no places for China’s Fan Zhendong, Korea Republic’s now retired Joo Saehyuk and Singapore’s Gao Ning.
One table, five matches per day, current world ranking decides the order of play; the cumulative result of the two days of competition determines the winner. Thus a 5-5 result is a possibility; should that be the instance a deciding match is staged involving one player from each team drawn at random.
The total prize fund is € 100,000.00; the equipment sponsor is Double Happiness.
Order of Play (Asian names first)
Saturday 4th August
Koki Niwa v Vladimir Samsonov, Chuang Chih-Yuan v Jonathan Groth, Wong Chun Ting v Kristian Karlsson, Lee Sangsu v Marcos Freitas, Zhang Jike v Bastian Steger
Sunday 5th August
Koki Niwa v Bastian Steger, Zhang Jike v Jonathan Groth, Lee Sangsu v Kristian Karlsson, Wong Chun Ting v Marcos Freitas, Chuang Chih-Yuan v Vladimir Samsonov