This is the fourth consecutive year that the Harmony Open will be held in Suzhou, China. Even though it will be the first race after the Olympic Games, the Chinese Team will still be sending their main players like Wang Hao, Ma Long, Zhang Jike, Ding Ning, Li Xiaoxia, and Guo Yan.
It is also reported that players from other strong teams like South Korea, Singapore, Germany, and Japan will also grace the competition.
In the previous season, the Chinese players swept both the Men and Women Singles crowns. Since this competition will take place just a few weeks after the Olympics, the performance of the eventual winners or a possible break of the Chinese monopoly from some foreign player would just be some interesting points of the event. However let us recall that past year, Ma Long started his impressive winning streak of 5 consecutive world-tours won after beating Zhang Jike in the 2011 final (2012 Harmony China Open, 2011 Austrian Open, 2011 Swedish Open, 2011 ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals and 2012 Hungary Open).
Ma Long vs Zhang Jike 2011 Harmony Open
video kindly shared by ttprovider
Guo Yan vs Ding Ning 2011 Harmony Open
video kindly shared by Chowqiao
Just like the usual World Tour, the competition will have the complete lineup of Men & Women Singles, Men & Women Doubles and the U21 Boys & Girls Singles. However, the prize money for the Harmony Open will be much more enticing for the players. A total of 330,000 US Dollars are up for grabs.
In Brazil for example, Oh Sang Eun and Kim Kyung Ah only got 4,200 US Dollars for winning the Men and Women Singles respectively. A rather small prize for someone with professional skills. Total prize money in Brazil was only 42000 US Dollars while Japan only got 120,400 total.
Although the tournament will be very generous enough to give credit to the winners, their tickets are priced low so as to entice the people to witness another spectacular table tennis event. Of course, just like the previous tournament, the organizers have prepared different exciting events that will really make the experience of each spectator worthwhile.
Photo source: sports.sina.com.cn