COPENHAGEN, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The 2012 European Table Tennis Championships opened in Herning, central Denmark, on Wednesday.
Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany, and Belarus' Vladimir Samsonov are seeded first, second and third, respectively, in the men's singles event, while Denmark's best player, Michael Maze, is seeded fourth.
The four top seeds have a strong track record in the tournament, with defending European champion Boll having won five European titles, Samsonov three, and Maze one.
According to the tournament draw released Monday, Boll is set to play Maze in one of the tournament's two semifinal matches, while Ovtcharov and Samsonov will clash in the other.
In the women's events, the spotlight will be on top seed Shen Yanfei of Spain, followed by Germany's Wu Jiaduo and Belarus' Viktoria Pavlovich, who are seeded second and third, respectively.
The tournament lost its best women's player on Sunday, when current European Champion Li Jiao of the Netherlands withdrew owing to severe wrist and back injuries, thereby forfeiting her place in both singles and doubles events.
In the doubles draw, Portugal's Marcos Freitas and Croatia's Andrej Gacina are top seeds in the men's doubles, and Romanian pair Daniela Dodean and Elizabeta Samara are seeded first in the women's event.
In all, 142 men and 111 women athletes are seeded in singles and doubles events, with no mixed doubles scheduled under the tournament's new format.
The championships takes place at the Herning Conference Center and Jyske Bank Boxen sports arena in Herning city, beginning with qualification matches Wednesday and Thursday, and followed by the main draw from Oct. 19-21.