By David Gold

Table tennisDecember 12 - The International Table Tennis Federation (ITFF) has announced a $2.5 million (£1.6 million/€1.9 million) prize fund for the 2012 ITTF World Tour, which will replace the Pro Tour.

For the first time in their history $1 million (£643,000/€754,000) will be available at the ITTF Grand Finals, with the men and women's winners each pocketing $104,000 (£67,000/€78,000).

A satellite tour system will complement the World Tour, starting with the 2012 Euro-Africa Circuit, with four events in Europe and two in Africa.

The ITTF executive director of competitions, Judit Farago, said: "These are exciting times for the ITTF with the greatest ever prize money at the World Tour Grand Finals and increased quality of competition.

"It clearly demonstrates our ambitions to take our sport to the next level.

"Our plans are also to complete our satellite tour with the Americas and the Asian-Pacific from 2013 onwards at the same time to further improve level of our premium events on the World Tour.

"This will create opportunities for many players to compete further in the international circuit, whilst at the same time making the World Tour a truly spectacular showcase for our sport."

The 2012 tour will go to 16 destinations, starting in Budapest, Hungary, in January, and going via Doha, Almeria, Rio de Janeiro, Yekaterinburg and Bremen and a number of others before finishing at an as yet unnamed location in December.

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