The First Spanish Open Pro Tour Is Ready To Start!

The first Spanish Open Pro Tour is ready to start!
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This morning it was presented by Mr. Miguel Ángel Machado, president of the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation (RFETM in Spanish), and Almería Sports Councelor Mr. Juan José Alonso, what will become the very first professional open Table Tennis tournament to be held in Spain, the motherland of so many champions in some of the most popular sports and that appears to be shifting the attention to our favorite sport now...

Everything's ready in Almería to host the first Spanish Open Pro Tour to be played between Wednesday April 6th and Saturday April 10th in the Juegos Mediterráneos Pavillion in the named city.

Today in the morning it was publicly presented by Mr. Miguel Ángel Machado, president of the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation, and Mr. Juan José Alonso, Sports Councelor of the city of Almería.

Mr. Machado said that "Very important players from the global elite, both in Men's and Women's division will come to this competition. There's a very high level in this tournament, players that are very hard to see [in Spain]. We are looking forward some very high level days on Table Tennis".

At the same time, Mr. Alonso representing the city council explained that "we will host more than 350 atheletes from 48 countries. This is not only about an sports event. It will also have an impact in our tourism activity".

Some of the top players that will show their skills in the tournament are Vladimir Samsonov, Spain's adopted son who, despite being from Belarus and playing for Russia's Orenburg, lives in southern Spain and therefore knows very well this arena, Korea's 2004 Olympics Champion Ryun Seung Min, who has also shown a taste for spanish-speaking countries after having also participated in the Chile Open in the past (as well as Vladi!), Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Korea's Joo Se Hyuk, Greece Kalinikos Kreanga, Belgium's Jean-Michel Saive and Croatia's Zoran Primorac.

In the women's division the tournament won't be short in stars: world #7 Japan's beautiful Ai Fukuhara will be number seeded followed by world #8 Korea's Kim Kyung Ah. Following them will be #15 Korea's Seok Ha Jung and Germany's Volkswagen Cup runner-up Wu Jiaduo.

In the local side, the biggest reference is Women's world #19 Shen Yanfei while in the Men's division they are world #70 He Zhi Wen (nickname "Juanito" by spaniards), who although being 49 years old still shows great skills with his block-based penhold style, and #71 Carlos Machado, being both the highest ranked male spanish players on this month.

From the small list of players just presented, who do you think will win in women? Ai Fukuhara? Kim Kiung Ah? or local Shen Yanfei? And in men's division? Vladi? Ryu Seung Min? Dimitrij Ovtacharov? Joo Se Hyuk? Juanito or Carlos Machado? Let us know and check the promotional video below!

Photo credit: Ireneus Kanabrodzki

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Did You Know?

Table Tennis was banned in the USSR from ca 1930 to 1950 because it was believed to be harmful to the eyes

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