Three competitors can earn a guaranteed World Cup place via the 2023 UK Open Sandpaper Table Tennis Tournament.
The tournament is Saturday, July 1, at St Neots TTC in Cambridgeshire, and spaces are filling up fast ahead of the closing date on June 26.
As well as the kudos of winning the event, those who enter have the incentive to secure a place at the 2024 Classic Table Tennis World Cup in Mexico City, January 2024.
The UK tournament has been awarded three guaranteed qualifying spots – and the winner will receive a $500 subsidy towards attendance in Mexico.
Already in the mix for the UK competition are Jimmy, Luke and Ethan Walsh, while Ian Johnston will be defending his title.
Among the other entries are four from the Czech Republic and one from Hungary. There is room for 36 competitors in total, to play in six groups of six followed by main and consolation knockouts. The minimum prize fund is £300.
Sandpaper TT uses ‘old school’ sandpaper bats where the emphasis is on skill and agility rather than equipment. Competitors do not use their own bats, and swap bats when they change table ends. Each set is played to 15 points with a sudden death point at 14-14.
The format is the same as the now-defunct World Championships of Ping Pong, which was held at Alexandra Palace before the pandemic.
Players can enter the World Cup directly, but acceptance is not guaranteed. Click here for details of that event.