Chengdu, Oct 18 : Reigning world champion Liu Shiwen vowed to win a record fifth title at the ITTF Women's World Cup starting here on Friday.
The 28-year-old, who was crowned at the world championships in Budapest last April, was the Cup's title holder in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2015, tying with table tennis Grand Slam winner Wang Nan and Zhang Yining as the most profiled Cup winners.
"World Cup is an important event to me, as always," said Liu, who's named the second seed thanks to her world No. 5 position on the latest ITTF rankings. "I'm taking the tournament very seriously though I've competed in a lot of Cups and won four of them," she added. "For me, the World Cup is as important as the Olympic table tennis competitions and the world championships."
Talking about her possible record-making campaign, Liu said: "I want to win every tournament that I participate, no matter if there's a record to break or not. I'll do my best in every match here and pushing hard forward to my final goal -- to step on the highest position of the podium."
Leading a 20-strong field at the three-day tournament in Chengdu, Liu was joined by her compatriot and Asian Cup winner Zhu Yuling and Japan's former Asian champion Miu Hirano, winners of the 2017 and 2016 World Cups respectively.
Other competitors here include Singapore veteran Feng Tianwei, African Cup winner Dina Meshref of Egypt, Germany's European champion Petrissa Solja, Pan American Cup winner Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico, and the Oceania Cup champion from Australia, veteran Lay Jian Fang.
With the seedings arranged according to the latest ITTF world rankings, the top eight seeds of the 250,000 US dollars tournament will be joined in the knockout stage starting Saturday by the players qualifying from the group stage.(XINHUA)