Hugo Calderano competes in the WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro from May 23rd (Photo: WTT)

Hugo’s next challenge on the World Table Tennis Circuit will take place on Brazilian soil, in his hometown. And once again it will be very special for him to play with the fans cheering him on at the Carioca I Arena, in the Barra da Tijuca Olympic Park, west of Rio de Janeiro. The 2024 WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro will be played from May 20 to 26, with Hugo starting his campaign straight into the main draw on Thursday 23rd.

Playing in Brazil is something special for Hugo and he has fond memories of playing with the arena buzzing with positive vibes. It’s been almost eight years since his first Olympic experience, in his hometown and with intense encouragement from the fans. At the Rio-2016 Games, Hugo, then 20, made his debut by beating Andy Pereira, from Cuba, 4 sets to 0. In the next round, he beat Par Gerell, from Sweden, 4-1.

Hugo then showed his strength and beat Tang Peng, from Hong Kong, 4-2. Already in the top 16 at Rio-2016, his next rival was Jun Mizutani, from Japan, who at the time was ranked 6th in the world and would end the Olympic tournament with a bronze medal. At the time, Hugo received a standing ovation from the crowd for his performance and campaign in the sport’s main event. 


Between the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro 2024, Hugo experienced other remarkable moments in his country. In 2017, in an event on the international circuit, he won the Brazilian Open in São Paulo. The following year, Hugo won the Brazilian Championship trophy in Concórdia (SC).

+ Read also: look back at Hugo’s results so far in 2024

In 2022, Hugo took part in the Brazil vs France Challenge, also held at the Carioca I Arena. His last appearance in Brazil was at last year’s WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro. In 2024, he will compete in the competition as the 8th-ranked player in the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) world rankings and 1st seed, being the top name among the entries.


This will be the second time that Brazil has hosted a round of the WTT main circuit, the second edition of the WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro. Before that, the “Marvelous City” had organized a youth tournament, the WTT Youth Contender, in 2023. As well as Hugo, the top-ranked player in the competition, the city of Rio will be joined by other top names.

Follow Hugo on his official channels: YoutubeTwitterInstagram and Facebook

The singles bracket of the 2024 WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro will feature three players currently ranked in the world’s top 20. Hugo’s main challengers will be Tomokazu Harimoto, from Japan (WR10), and Shunsuke Togami, also from Japan (WR20). The champion of the 2023 edition, Mattias Falck, from Sweden, will not be in Rio this time.   


Brazil will be heavily represented at the 2024 WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro. Led by Hugo, the best-ranked among them, Brazilian table tennis will have 40 athletes entered in both singles and doubles, surpassing the mark of 25 from the 2023 edition. Among the men, four players will go straight into the main draw, with Hugo joined by Vitor Ishiy, Eric Jouti and Guilherme Teodoro.

The men’s competition will also feature 18 other table tennis players in the qualifying round competing for a place in the main draw. They are: Leonardo Iizuka, Carlos Ishida, Kim Iwasaki, Rafael Turrini, Felipe Arado, Abimael Araújo, Henrique Noguti, Nicolas Nishimura, Joon Shim, Gustavo Tsuboi, Hamilton Yamane, Thiago Pradella, Allan Sarmento, Kenzo Carmo, Luca Kumahara, Lucas Romanski, Gabriel Caviquio and Danilo Toma are all looking to qualify for the main draw.

The women’s event  will feature Bruna Takahashi, Giulia Takahashi, Bruna Alexandre and Laura Watanabe in the main draw. In addition to them, Brazil will have 14 athletes competing in the qualifying round: Victória Strassburger, Karina Shiray, Jessica Yamada, Beatriz Fiore, Sabrina Miyabara, Gabrielle Pincerato, Mahayla Sardá, Jéssica Prates, Sofia Kano, Lhays Stolarski, Beatriz Kanashiro, Abigail Menezes, Lana Ozeki and Maria Eduarda Nascimento.


All the matches in the singles bracket of the WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro will be played in a single-elimination system. The matches will be played in best of five games until the semi-final stage.The final match will be decided in seven games.


Check out the points and prize money for the WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro:

Champion: 400 points / US$ 5,000

Runners-up: 280 points / US$ 2,500

Semi-finalists: 140 points / US$ 1,500

Quarterfinalists: 70 points / US$ 1,050

Round of 16: 35 points / US$ 775

1st Round: 4 points / US$ 525


Check out the schedule for each day of tournament:

Monday (20/05) – Qualifying

Tuesday (21/05) – Qualifying

Wednesday (22/05) – Qualifying

Thursday (23/05) – Round 1

Friday (24/05) – Round of 16

Saturday (25/05) – Quarter-finals and Semi-finals

Sunday (26/05) – Final

The qualifying matches will take place at 2 p.m. Brasília time. The matches in the main draw will start at 1pm.


The Star+ streaming service and ESPN (subscription channel) will show the WTT Contender Rio de Janeiro main draw matches in Brazil. The qualifying matches will be broadcast on World Table Tennis YouTube. And, as always, we’ll also have our coverage on Team Calderano’s Instagram and Telegram channels!