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azlan
11-27-2011, 01:30 PM
952
courtesy of ITTF

Again, I found this interview by tabletennista that is worth sharing with everyone. Liu Guoliang candidly talks about the Chinese team and the upcoming Olympics.

Everyone is just excited for the final announcement of the Chinese delegates for the 2012 London Olympics. Since there are limited slots this year, China has to make a very hard decision and choose the best possible players they have. Among the decision makers, the head coach of the men's team Liu Guoliang shoulders the most pressure. Along with this, the head coach graced an interview and expressed his views over the London Olympics. In addition, Liu Guoliang acknowledged Wang Liqin's performance while he also admitted that Zhang Jike needs more discipline.

The 2012 London Olympics is just ten months away from now and the excitement is just in the air. Along with this excitement is the anticipation for the final list of China which we all know are facing a hard time in deciding for their Olympic delegates. To give some light, Liu Guoliang finally talked about the upcoming Olympics with more depth.

Reporter: Everyone is just showing their concern for the upcoming Olympics. Is the list of the Chinese delegates fixed already?

Liu Guoliang: Currently, the candidates for the Olympic Games is certainly not identified yet. Including Wang Liqin, it doesn't mean that he has no chance to break into the London Olympics. In a span of ten months, anything can change.

Reporter: Wang Hao and Zhang Jike are already in the list. Since Zhang Jike achieved this year's world championship title, is he ensured of a slot already?

Liu Guoliang: It's still hard for me to answer that. After all, he got one title. However in our team, we have players who got more championship titles. What I can only say is that he has equal chances just like the others. The player with the most stable condition will certainly get through.

In Rotterdam, Zhang Jike defeated the world's number one Wang Hao and the number two player, Timo Boll. I was actually a bit surprised with his achievement. He showed a very good, explosive and bloody performance in the arena and that is his biggest advantage. However, technically speaking, he is still not good enough and he still have a number of problems. He also needs more discipline.

Reporter: Compared to the previous Beijing Olympics, did our advantage decrease?

Liu Guoliang: Overall, our advantage is still there. After all the Chinese table tennis team has a good foundation and we are also the best team. As for the overall strength of the players, it is beyond doubt that we are the strongest. However, in the individual level, we are going through a replacement period. This advantage is indeed shrinking.

Reporter: Would our goal in London is to sweep all the medals?

Liu Guoliang: I cannot dare say that but I must go to war for every gold medal. We cannot just give up just because of increased difficulty.

Scorpnox
11-27-2011, 01:46 PM
Ma long has to play... He has the most stable results

PlasmaLight
11-27-2011, 01:55 PM
if nothing happens. ma long and zhang jike will play

Bryce
11-27-2011, 02:27 PM
All the best for Ma long!:D

Team Tackyfire
11-27-2011, 02:38 PM
ma long has been the msot consistant player and must go to london 2012 without doubt

azlan
11-27-2011, 03:16 PM
However, technically speaking, he is still not good enough and he still have a number of problems. He also needs more discipline.

Interesting quote from Liu. I think ZJK is still an unfinished article. Rough diamond.

waldner4ever
11-28-2011, 09:17 AM
[QUOTE=azlan;21364]952
courtesy of ITTF


Reporter: Wang Hao and Zhang Jike are already in the list. Since Zhang Jike achieved this year's world championship title, is he ensured of a slot already?

Liu Guoliang: It's still hard for me to answer that. After all, he got one title. However in our team, we have players who got more championship titles. What I can only say is that he has equal chances just like the others. The player with the most stable condition will certainly get through.

In Rotterdam, Zhang Jike defeated the world's number one Wang Hao and the number two player, Timo Boll. I was actually a bit surprised with his achievement. He showed a very good, explosive and bloody performance in the arena and that is his biggest advantage. However, technically speaking, he is still not good enough and he still have a number of problems. He also needs more discipline.


This interview defenitley shows head coach Liu goliang unfavoritism for Zjk, and favoritism for Wang hao!, which i can't stand (not wang hao but the prejudice toward Zjk)!! Rumors are that this is because Wang hao played side by side with liugoliang when he was still playing...

paras.oriental
11-28-2011, 12:49 PM
What will be the team size for London - Olympics ?

is it just 2? or 3?

paras.oriental
11-28-2011, 12:49 PM
What will be the team size for London - Olympics ?

is it just 2? or 3?

YosuaYosan
11-28-2011, 01:14 PM
The new regulation limits 2 player per nation.

UpSideDownCarl
11-28-2011, 02:04 PM
The new regulation limits 2 player per nation.

Isn't 2 players just for the singles event? Won't there be a third player for team or doubles or something?

paras.oriental
11-28-2011, 03:44 PM
The new regulation limits 2 player per nation.

But in that case , it would be a great problem for them to select between the three of them : Ma , Zhang and Wang Hao..

I think there must be 3 players.

JustAlt
11-28-2011, 04:20 PM
They can only send two players, period.

scylla24
11-28-2011, 06:00 PM
[QUOTE=azlan;21364]952
courtesy of ITTF


Reporter: Wang Hao and Zhang Jike are already in the list. Since Zhang Jike achieved this year's world championship title, is he ensured of a slot already?

Liu Guoliang: It's still hard for me to answer that. After all, he got one title. However in our team, we have players who got more championship titles. What I can only say is that he has equal chances just like the others. The player with the most stable condition will certainly get through.

In Rotterdam, Zhang Jike defeated the world's number one Wang Hao and the number two player, Timo Boll. I was actually a bit surprised with his achievement. He showed a very good, explosive and bloody performance in the arena and that is his biggest advantage. However, technically speaking, he is still not good enough and he still have a number of problems. He also needs more discipline.


This interview defenitley shows head coach Liu goliang unfavoritism for Zjk, and favoritism for Wang hao!, which i can't stand (not wang hao but the prejudice toward Zjk)!! Rumors are that this is because Wang hao played side by side with liugoliang when he was still playing...


I don't know its hard to say, there are obvious reasons why Liu would like Wang Hao, since he probably has a greater connection with him, since they are both penholders and Liu had a lot of influence on the pioneering of the reverse penhold backhand. However, there are also good reason for him to not necessarily place ZJK above Wang Hao in terms of who goes to the olympics. Despite the fact that in recent matches ZJK has beaten Wang Hao, that doesn't necessarily mean he is the better player. It just means he matches up well against Wang Hao. While I probably like ZJK as a player better than Wang Hao, if I had to give my honest opinion, I think Wang Hao is the better choice because he seems to match up better against non-Chinese players, which is the most important factor the Chinese team needs to consider. The chances of ZJK suffering a random loss in the early rounds is much greater than the chance that Wang Hao will, in my opinion.

scylla24
11-28-2011, 06:02 PM
But in that case , it would be a great problem for them to select between the three of them : Ma , Zhang and Wang Hao..

I think there must be 3 players.

Yeah, I think the decision to limit each country to 2 players is lame.

WiWa
11-28-2011, 06:06 PM
The chances of ZJK suffering a random loss in the early rounds is much greater than the chance that Wang Hao will, in my opinion.

That is exactly the opposite of what I just said in the other thread haha.

Steven
11-28-2011, 08:54 PM
Yeah, I think the decision to limit each country to 2 players is lame.

Nah, I think I like it. Makes it a real challenge for the Chinese to win, and gives the other countries better chances. It's boring me already that China wins all the medals at the moment. :p The selection for the World cup was bad in my opinion though, because it gave Ma Long no chance at all.

WiWa
11-28-2011, 09:56 PM
Nah, I think I like it. Makes it a real challenge for the Chinese to win, and gives the other countries better chances. It's boring me already that China wins all the medals at the moment. :p The selection for the World cup was bad in my opinion though, because it gave Ma Long no chance at all.

It's not boring at all ;) They present us the best table tennis ever played, please let them break through to the finals so they can show us another epic match! They are the best, they work hardest, they deserve it, and we should thank them for bringing table tennis to the level it is played at nowadays. :D

Mr. RicharD
11-28-2011, 11:29 PM
@ Waldner4ever - He is Wang Hao's Mentor if I'm not mistaken. And ZJK was nearly kicked off the team and booted off to the Military before LGL gave him one last chance in Rotterdam. Currently Wang Hao has the highest level of Mentality towards an Olympic match. The other 2 have never competed for the Olympic Gold Medal and WH has. That's not say that the two Lions don't have a good chance at winning, but just lack the experience. There is no doubt that it's a tough decision for them because this is a pivotal moment in TT history. LGL has to choose the best two players to win the Gold and Silver Medals to close out the last 4 years as the dominating country before the new ball change. When circulation of the ball is international the Chinese team may end up losing more matches than before. This will be changing the history of the game and could be the reason why they want to help Europe and the rest of the world grow in the sport they've dominated for decades at a time.

WiWa
11-29-2011, 09:18 AM
Liu Guoliang on Wang Hao, from Tabletennista.com:

What worries Liu Guoliang the most is the that Wang Hao failed to give power. After Wang Hao's defeat against Ma Long, Liu Guoliang frankly stated that Wang Hao is in a dangerous position.

"Wang Hao's condition and his level of performance vary considerably and do not match his position in the team. If this will continue, Wang Hao will be in a very dangerous state. Zhang Jike and Ma Long are already into the Olympic state. Waiting for Wang Hao to find his right condition might just be a little late. Professional sports can sometimes be brutal. The current Wang Hao is not comparable to Zhang Jike and Ma Long." Liu Guoliang concluded.

PlasmaLight
11-29-2011, 01:42 PM
Liu Guoliang on Wang Hao, from Tabletennista.com:

What worries Liu Guoliang the most is the that Wang Hao failed to give power. After Wang Hao's defeat against Ma Long, Liu Guoliang frankly stated that Wang Hao is in a dangerous position.

"Wang Hao's condition and his level of performance vary considerably and do not match his position in the team. If this will continue, Wang Hao will be in a very dangerous state. Zhang Jike and Ma Long are already into the Olympic state. Waiting for Wang Hao to find his right condition might just be a little late. Professional sports can sometimes be brutal. The current Wang Hao is not comparable to Zhang Jike and Ma Long." Liu Guoliang concluded.

i read it too this morning. sounds like the carpet fall. ma long and zhang jike will go

azlan
11-29-2011, 02:56 PM
No doubt, Wang Hao has the credentials. He was the no 1 for quite some time. But, lately he was below par by his standard. Liu has to pick players who are performing, rather than sentiments. But having said that, the Olympics will be in the summer next year. A lot of things can happen between now and then.

Wang Hao may regain his form (just like Ma Long did). Ma Long or ZJK may suffer injuries which may open the window for Wang Hao, or even Ma Lin or Xu Xin. I think it's still too early to say. Liu will wait until the eleventh hour before deciding the team.

Matt Hetherington
11-29-2011, 09:37 PM
They don't have teams at the Olympics anymore, it was my understanding that they had replaced it with the doubles event now. So it will be 2 men and 2 women maximum. I think Ma Long is still going to be at the head of the field come selection time. The second player I think will come down to Wang Hao or ZJK and realistically ZJK will probably make it unless Wang Hao can win something in the lead up to the games

WiWa
11-29-2011, 09:57 PM
They don't have teams at the Olympics anymore, it was my understanding that they had replaced it with the doubles event now. So it will be 2 men and 2 women maximum. I think Ma Long is still going to be at the head of the field come selection time. The second player I think will come down to Wang Hao or ZJK and realistically ZJK will probably make it unless Wang Hao can win something in the lead up to the games

There is only 1 doubles pair allowed per country? In that case that is gonna be a quite worthless event, maybe apart from the semi-finals and final :O It is sad that the team event is taken away.

Matt Hetherington
11-29-2011, 10:59 PM
I'm not sure on what restrictions there are for doubles pairs, in the past there have been more than one pair from China at the Olympics, whether there is a new rule for that now i'm not sure?

azlan
11-30-2011, 07:14 AM
This is all so confusing. I managed to find some info though not a complete one.

There are 72 places available in the Olympic competition and a maximum of three athletes from each nation are eligible to qualify, per gender. The top 28 eligible players on the ITTF World Ranking have automatically been qualified for 2012, with a maximum of two athletes per nation. Should there be an exact tie for the last ranking qualification spot, the world ranking list from the previous season will be used and the better player will qualify.

There are then six qualification events (Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, Oceania and Europe) held between June 2011 and May 2012, through which 40 more players per gender can qualify. In May 2012, two final places will be awarded during a tournament which is as yet unscheduled. The international governing body also have the option of awarding one invitational spot per gender to an athlete of their choice.

For the team competition, the top ranked teams from the 2012 World Team Championships will earn the chance to compete in London, as well as the highest ranked nation out of those taking part in the six qualification events. This is where a third player may qualify. Britain, as the host nation, will be awarded an automatic place in the competition.

Matt Hetherington
11-30-2011, 07:37 AM
So does that mean if China win the World Team Champs and already have 2 players qualified by the ITTF rankings then they can only have one more player per gender? that discounts them from competing in the Asia Olympics Qualification event correct? Sounds very confusing indeed

azlan
11-30-2011, 07:43 AM
D.QUALIFICATION PATHWAY
Seventy-two (72) athletes per gender will qualify as follows:
28 ITTF World Ranking, with a maximum of two (2) players per NOC
40 Continental qualification
2 Final World Qualification Event
1 Tripartite Commission Invitation place
1 Host NOC direct entry
72 Total - with a maximum of three (3) athletes from the same NOC, with a maximum of two (2) to participate in singles events.
The remaining quota of 14 athletes per gender (Team Quota) will be used to complete the teams if necessary. The Final World Qualification Tournament may qualify more than two (2) players if the Team Quota (14 places) is not fully utilised.

1. ITTF World Ranking Qualification
The top twenty-eight (28) eligible players on the first ITTF World Ranking published following the 2011 World Championships to be held in Rotterdam (Netherlands), from 8 to 15 of May 2011 will be qualified, with a maximum of two (2) players per NOC.
In case of an exact tie for the last direct qualifying position, reference will be made to the previous World Ranking List and the better ranked player will qualify. If still tied, reference would be made to the previous World Ranking List and so on until the tie is broken.

2. Continental Qualification
Players will be qualified through continental qualification events, held between 1 June 2011 and 22 April 2012, according to the following distribution:
6 Africa
11 Asia
11 Europe
6 Latin America
3 North America
3 Oceania
40 Total
The ITTF and its Continental Federations are responsible for holding Continental qualification events following the general regulations for Olympic Qualification events. The ITTF and its Continental Federations will plan the qualification events (dates, places and number of players to qualify in each tournament) before 31 December 2010, as well as announcing the names of the qualified players after each qualifying event according to the above quota and according to the established timelines.

3. Final World Qualification Tournament
The top two (2) players at the Final World Qualification Tournament will qualify.
Entries to the Final World Qualification Tournament will be limited to players who have otherwise not qualified by the ITTF World Ranking or by Continental Qualification. NOCs may only enter the same number of athletes as quota places remaining, within the maximum number of three (3) per NOC.
The number of qualification places from this competition may be increased if the continental qualification allocation of 40 players is not reached, if the host NOC direct entry place is not used and/or if the Team Quota (14 places) is not fully utilised.

SINGLES EVENTS
The first two players to qualify per gender and per NOC will participate in singles events. The order of qualification will be firstly ITTF World Ranking, then Continental qualification, and finally the Final World Qualification event.
Any third qualified player from an NOC will be provisionally qualified for the Team event only (up to the number of teams required). If there are more than 9 (or 10) NOCs with 3 players qualified after the Continental quota and host NOC direct entry have been determined, the third player(s) from those NOCs not qualifying for the Team event will not be qualified and will be replaced. If the continental quotas are therefore not filled as a result of this vacancy, the quota places will be filled by the next best eligible athlete, not yet qualified, of the same gender and same continent, according to the relevant continental qualification event. Otherwise the relevant quota place(s) will be filled by selecting the next best eligible athlete(s), not yet qualified from the Final World Qualification Tournament.

TEAM EVENTS
Sixteen (16) Teams for each of the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events will qualify as follows:
6 One team from each ITTF Continent
1 Host NOC direct entry
9 Remaining selected teams
An additional quota (Team Quota) of 14 individual places per gender are made available to complement (if necessary) the quota for NOCs that qualify for the team event but did not otherwise qualify enough players to form a team.
Players who have been added to a team from the quota of 14 additional places may only play in the team event and shall not be entered in the singles event.
Each player in a team must be from the same NOC, but it is allowable that a player in a team not be entered in the singles event. A maximum of one (1) men’s team and one (1) women’s team per NOC may be entered.

Team selection
After the Final World Qualification Tournament, the Team selection process will begin as follows:

1. Continental quota

Six (6) teams:
1 for Africa
1 for Asia
1 for Europe
1 for Latin America
1 for North America
1 for Oceania.

One (1) team from each continent (six (6) teams) will be selected as follows:
a) For each continent, the highest ranked team in the 2012 World Team Championships, which has an NOC and a total of three (3) players qualified through any of the Olympic qualification methods, will form a team and will be designated the continental quota for that continent.
b) For continents where no NOC has three (3) players qualified through any of the Olympic qualification methods, the NOC with the highest ranked team in the 2012 World Team Championships with two (2) qualified players will be supplemented with a player from the Team Quota to form a team of three (3) players.
c) For continents where no NOC has two (2) players qualified in singles, the NOC with the highest ranked team in the 2012 World Team Championships with one (1) qualified player through any of the Olympic qualification methods will be supplemented with two (2) players from the Team Quota to form a team of three (3) players.

If the jurisdiction of an NOC covers more than one ITTF affiliated member, the ranking of the highest ranked affiliated member of that NOC in the 2012 World Team Championships will be taken into account for qualification purposes. It is not necessary for all affiliated members of the NOC to participate in the 2012 World Team Championships.

2. Host NOC direct entry: 1 team

In each Team event, the host NOC is guaranteed one (1) direct entry. If the host NOC entry has not been selected as the Continental Quota, the necessary number of places from the Team Quota will be allocated to complete the team.

3. Remaining teams: 9 (10 if the host NOC is qualified by continental quota)

The remaining teams will qualify based on the following principles:
NOCs with three (3) players qualified through any of the Olympic qualification methods before the Final World Qualification Tournament.
If more than 9 (or 10) teams can be formed in this manner, then the top 9 (or 10) teams according to the final ranking of the 2012 World Team Championships will qualify.
If less than 9 (or 10) teams can be formed in this manner, then NOCs with three (3) players qualified through any of the Olympic qualification methods after the Final World Qualification Tournament will be taken into consideration first and, finally, if the Team Quota is still not filled, NOCs with two (2) players qualified through any of the Olympic qualification methods will be supplemented with one (1) player from the Team Quota to form teams of three (3) players, following the final ranking of the 2012 World Team Championships, until the quota of 9 (or 10) teams is completed.
If the Team Quota is filled using less than the fourteen (14) quota places for men and the fourteen (14) quota places for women, the remaining quota places will be added to the Final World Qualification Tournament and to the Olympic singles events.


HOST COUNTRY REPRESENTATION

The host NOC shall directly qualify one (1) athlete per gender if not already qualified by ranking or by continental qualification.
In each team event, the host NOC is guaranteed one (1) direct entry. If the host NOC entry has not been selected as the continental quota, the necessary number of places from the Team Quota will be allocated to complete the team.
TRIPARTITE COMMISSION PLACES
Two (2) Tripartite Commission Invitation Places (one per gender) are made available for eligible NOCs.
On 1 November 2011, the International Olympic Committee will contact all those NOCs who are eligible to apply for Tripartite Commission Invitation Places.
The deadline for NOCs to submit their requests for Tripartite Commission Invitation Places is 16 January 2012. In relation to the end of the qualification period, the Tripartite Commission will confirm, in writing, the allocation of invitation places to the respective NOCs before 30 May 2012.
Detailed information on Tripartite Invitation places is contained in the – Tripartite Commission Invitation Places - Information Paper for NOCs – which is included in the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012 Qualification and Participation Criteria.

E. Confirmation process for quota places CONFIRMATION PROCESS FOR QUOTA PLACES
After each qualification event, the Continental Federations will notify the ITTF of the list of the names of qualified players for the respective continent.
After each qualification event, the ITTF will inform the respective NOC/NF of the player(s) that have qualified. The NOCs will have two weeks from the date that the qualification was confirmed by the ITTF to confirm or reject the quota place(s).
Following the conclusion of the Final World Qualification event, and by 30 May 2012 at the latest, the ITTF will confirm in writing to NOCs/NFs the remaining names of all qualified players and teams. By 15 June 2012, NOCs/NFs must submit to the ITTF the names of all participating players and teams, and by 30 June 2012, the ITTF will confirm the final allocation of all quota places.

F. Reallocation of unused quota places REALLOCATION OF UNUSED IF QUOTA PLACES

SINGLES EVENTS
1. ITTF World Ranking List
Any unused quota places obtained through the ITTF World Ranking List will be reallocated to the next best ranked athlete, not yet qualified, of the same gender according to the ITTF World Ranking.
2. Continental Qualification Tournaments
Any unused quota places obtained at the Continental Qualification Tournaments will be reallocated to the next best eligible athlete of the same gender and continent, not yet qualified, according to the event where the place was obtained.
If the continental quotas are not filled by the start of the Final World Qualification Tournament, the available quota places will be filled by increasing the number of quota places available at the Final World Qualification Tournament.
3. Final World Qualification Tournament
Any unused quota place obtained at the Final World Qualification Tournament will be reallocated to the next best eligible athlete of the same gender, not yet qualified, from the Final World Qualification Tournament.

TEAM EVENTS
1. Continental quota
Unused Team Quota places from the Continental quota will be allocated to the next eligible team from the same Continent following the final ranking of the 2012 World Team Championships. In the case of unused Continental quota, the place will be allocated to the next Continental quota team by order of ranking as established in the section “Team Selection”.
2. Remaining teams
Any unused quota places for the remaining teams will be reallocated to the next best eligible team, not yet qualified, according the final ranking of the 2012 World Team Championships, by order of ranking as established in the section “Team Selection”.

REALLOCATION OF UNUSED HOST COUNTRY PLACES
If the host NOC direct entry place is already filled through ranking or by continental qualification, then one (1) additional place will be added to the Final World Qualification event.

REALLOCATION OF UNUSED TRIPARTITE COMMISSION PLACES
Any unused places within the reserved quota of places will be reallocated by the Tripartite Commission.
Should the Tripartite Commission not be able to allocate the place(s), they will be reallocated to the next best ranked player/s, according to the ITTF World Ranking list (which will be published following the 2011 World Championships in Rotterdam) from an NOC without any player qualified.

G. Qualification timeline DATE MILESTONE
31 December 2010 - Continental Federations determine the Continental Qualification Tournaments for Singles
January 2011 - ITTF announces the Continental Qualification tournaments
16 May 2011 - ITTF World Ranking list published following the 2011 World Championships qualifying first 28 players from the list
1 June 2011 – 22 April 2012 - Continental Qualification process
1 November 2011 - IOC will contact all NOCs who are eligible to apply for Tripartite Commission Invitation Places
16 January 2012 - Deadline for NOCs to submit their requests for Tripartite Commission Invitation Places
May 2012 -
 Final World Qualification Tournament
 Host NOC to confirm the use of Host Country quota places
 Final teams selection
1 May – 9 July 2012 - The Tripartite Commission will confirm, in writing, the allocation of Invitation places to the NOCs
30 June 2012 - ITTF to confirm the final allocation of all quota places
9 July 2012 - Deadline for London 2012 Organising Committee to receive entry forms

waldner4ever
12-01-2011, 12:25 AM
i read it too this morning. sounds like the carpet fall. ma long and zhang jike will go

Wow... Impartial Liu go Liang! I like him!
But yeah as Azlan said, injuries can always happen!
Also true that a maximun of 3 per nation wiould solve Liu Go Liang dilemma for sure.

WiWa
12-01-2011, 08:04 AM
Wow, thanks for the info Azlan. So that means that Wang Hao and Zhang Jike's singles spots were already safe after the WTTC?

YosuaYosan
12-01-2011, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the info Sir Azlan!
Yer the man :D

PlasmaLight
12-01-2011, 10:21 AM
Wow, thanks for the info Azlan. So that means that Wang Hao and Zhang Jike's singles spots were already safe after the WTTC?

i dont think so. imagine wang hao fails in 2012 and ma lin starts a comeback. so he could maybe get the spot ;)

WiWa
12-01-2011, 10:39 AM
i dont think so. imagine wang hao fails in 2012 and ma lin starts a comeback. so he could maybe get the spot ;)

Well if the spots are automatically assigned by ranking, they don't get to choose their representatives. I meant this part:

1. ITTF World Ranking Qualification
The top twenty-eight (28) eligible players on the first ITTF World Ranking published following the 2011 World Championships to be held in Rotterdam (Netherlands), from 8 to 15 of May 2011 will be qualified, with a maximum of two (2) players per NOC.