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horses alike gear up for a groundbreaking showdown at Saudi Smash 2024

We are less than 30 days out from Saudi Smash 2024 and the singles lineup set to land in Jeddah has been revealed. The second WTT Grand Smash on the 2024 calendar is gearing up to be a show-stopping event, with fans to experience a grand new legacy when the action gets underway from 4 to 11 May in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Headlining the Men’s Singles action will be newly-crowned World No.1 Wang Chuqin. With the Men’s Singles title at Singapore Smash 2024 catapulting him to the top spot, Wang will be out to ride the momentum and add a green trophy to his collection when he steps into the Infinity ∞ Arena in Jeddah.

On the hunt to take back the throne is two-time WTT Grand Smash singles champion Fan Zhendong. Having been leapfrogged by Chinese compatriot Wang at the top of the ladder, Fan will be to aiming to make up for an early exit in Singapore last month and close the gap on his rival.

But the race for the top of the podium will be brimming with international superstars, hungry for their first WTT Grand Smash title. French sensation Felix Lebrun, who recently became the third youngest athlete in history to crack the Top 5, will be chasing more milestones when he touches down in Saudi Arabia. But there will be no easy path to claiming top honours, with multiple WTT Series titles winners Lin Yun-Ju, Tomokazu Harimoto and Hugo Calderano, all coming in hot and ready to add another trophy to their collections.

In the Women’s Singles, the spotlight will be on World No.1 Sun Yingsha. After a quarterfinal exit at last month’s Singapore Smash, redemption will be on Sun’s mind when she gets ready to compete on the shores of the Red Sea. But challenges will come from every corner of the draw with a fully loaded lineup out to take her throne.

Sun’s Chinese compatriots could prove the biggest threat to her title intent. Wang Manyu, fresh off her maiden WTT Grand Smash singles win is building plenty of momentum this season and back-to-back titles in the tier would send a clear signal to the rest of the field of her World No.1 ambitions. Meanwhile, Chen Meng will be out to replicate the form that saw her win the inaugural Singapore Smash title back in 2022. With each of the Chinese triumvirate holding one WTT Grand Smash trophy a piece, Saudi Arabia could prove the event to break the deadlock.

Waiting in the wings to rock the boat will be four-time WTT title winner Hina Hayata. The leading athlete from Japan has been producing standout performances this season and is showing she has what it takes to go all the way. Also stepping out will be Top 10 global stars Shin Yubin from Korea Republic, Bernadette Szocs of Romania and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, all poised to make an impact in Jeddah.

Set to be staged from 4 to 11 May 2024, Saudi Smash features 64-player singles and 24-pair doubles main draws. Offering an unprecedented prize pool of USD 2,000,000, the highest for any officially sanctioned table tennis event, both the Men’s and Women’s Singles champions will earn USD 65,000 and 2,000 ITTF Table Tennis World Rankings Points.

Saudi Smash, alongside Singapore Smash and China Smash, is one of three WTT Grand Smashes in 2024 that showcases the globe’s best talent in a high-energy, festival of table tennis. As part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s initiative for social and economic reform, the nation is emerging as a key venue for major international sports events, adding table tennis to a list of prestigious events such as Formula 1, the FIFA Club World Cup, and others, to recently be hosted in Jeddah.

www.sports24ghana.com

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