Paris 2024 Olympic Games: why the World Cup in Macau could be crucial for the Lebrun brothers in terms of qualifying for the Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games: why the World Cup in Macau could be crucial for the Lebrun brothers in terms of qualifying for the Games

Une nouvelle compétition où les deux frères seront attendus. XinHua – Xu Bingjie

Table tennis players Alexis and Félix Lebrun will compete in the ITTF World Cup (from April 15 to 21, 2024) in Macau (China). A competition that has been absent from the calendar for four years and which could be decisive for Alexis, with a view to qualifying for Paris. 

Two months after the World Team Championships, Félix and Alexis Lebrun are back on the world stage. The 2024 ITTF World Cup opens in two days in Macau (China), and it will be an opportunity to see the 48 best players in the world compete. A first experience for the two brothers, since the World Cup has not been contested since 2020.

Group stage format

The competition begins with a group stage (16 groups of 3), during which matches are played over four rounds. A match can therefore only end 4-0, 3-1 or 2-2.

At the end of this group stage, the first of each group is qualified for the final table. ;play best of seven rounds.

A single French victory in history

Only a Frenchman has won this competition, it is the Alésien to Jean-Philippe Gatien in 1994. Since then, France has always remained in search of a victory but will have to &ndash ; as always – face the inevitable Chinese, who have won 15 of the last 18 editions. We will have to watch the world number 2, Fan Zhendong, champion during the last three editions (2018, 2019, 2020).

The French delegation will be able to count on Félix Lebrun (5th in the world), his brother Alexis (21st) as well as Simon Gauzy (25th). Among the women, Jia Han Huan (20th) and Prithika Pavade (28th) will be there.

Decisive for the Olympic Games

The competition is not part of the WTT circuit, but it nonetheless remains decisive for qualification for the Olympic Games. Even if Félix has a good chance of qualifying in singles with his 3,202 points, the fate of Alexis Lebrun and Simon Gauzy is still unclear. In fact, only 243 points separate the two French people.

Also read: Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Alexis Lebrun or Simon Gauzy at the Olympic Games: we explain the table tennis selection procedures

The World Cup, in terms of points awarded, is the second highest category in table tennis. The winner is awarded 1 500 points, 1 050 for the finalist, 500 for a semi-final and 265 for a quarter-final.

Taking into consideration Simon Gauzy's good start to the season and Alexis' rather sluggish start to the season, the Toulouse player could, in the event of a quarter-final and ’ a poor performance from Montpellier, becoming number 2 French before the Grand Smash in Saudi Arabia (May 1-11). There will then only be the WTT Champions in Chongqing (May 27 & June 2) and the WTT Star Contender in Ljubljana (June 11-16) before the Games.

As a reminder, only the first two French people will have the chance to compete in the Olympic Games in singles. Currently, Félix Lebrun is firmly established as French number 1 with 3,202 points, followed by his brother Alexis Lebrun with 1,143 points and Simon Gauzy, third, with 880 points.

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