Zhang Jike top of the list
Photo By: Rémy Gros
Reigning World champion, Zhang Jike is the new World no.1.
He replaces Chinese national team compatriot, Ma Long, in the top spot on the Men’s World Rankings issued by the International Table Tennis Federation on Friday 1st June 2012.
Ma Long is now at no.2, having occupied the coveted top spot since October 2011.
It is the first time in his blossoming career that Zhang Jike has risen to the top of the list.
Also enjoying a new career high is Xu Xin; he is now at no.3.
The change follows results on the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour in May, where Xu Xin reached the Men’s Singles final in both Korea and China.
In the former he lost to Zhang Jike in the final, in the latter he beat Ma Long in the gold medal contest.
One Place Lower for Wang Hao
Progress for Zhang Jike and Xu Xin but, in addition to Ma Long, it means a fall of one place for their colleague, Wang Hao, he drops on spot to fourth place.
Ma Lin retains fifth spot; thus the leading five players on the newly published list are, as one month before, all from China.
Germany’s Timo Boll remains at no.6 with Japan’s Jun Mizutani retaining his no.7 place.
Highest for Eight Years
Next on the list is Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan; he climbs from no.10 to no.8 and enjoys his highest ever global status since December 2004, when he stood in seventh place; making way for Chuang Chih-Yuan is Korea’s Joo Saehyuk, absent from the GAC GROUP 2012 World Tour in May owing to injury. He falls from no.8 to no.10.
China’s Wang Liqin remains at no.9 with Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov continuing at no.11 and Korea’s Oh Sangeun, as a direct result of his victory over Ma Lin in China, completing the top 12, previously he was in 12th place.
Performances in Korea and China Rewarded
A reward for Oh Sangeun, as a result of a fine performance on the GAC GROUP World Tour in May; similarly, there are other players climbing the Men’s World Rankings as a result of their efforts in both Korea and China.
Notably Japan’s Kazuhiro Chan is now at no.27, the highest of his career having in May been at no.38; whilst Korea’s Lee Sang Su, following his dramatic win at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Korean Open over Ma Long, is now at no.37; his best listing since December 2011 when he stood in the 30th position.
Likewise, there is progress for Singapore’s Li Hu, Japan’s Taka Takakiwa, Germany’s Ruwen Filus, Korea’s Yoon Jaeyoung and Germany’s Patrick Franziska; all players who excelled on the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour in May.
Li Hu climbs from no.52 to no.39, Taku Takakiwa from no.44 to no.61 and Ruwen Filus from no.75 to no.57; equally Yoon Jaeyoung advances from no.108 to no.64 and Patrick Franziska from no.105 to no.93.
Fine Efforts in Doha
Also, for those who were on duty at the Final World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Qatar there is progress.
Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, the winner, climbs from no.48 to no.32; Croatia’s Andrej Gacina from no.71 to no.55, Turkey’s Bora Vang from no.82 to no.71 and Ukraine’s Yaroslav Zhmudenko from no.101 to no.75.
Climbing the List
In addition, there is progress for Spain’s Carlos Machado, the runner up.
He is now at no.77 having been at no.103; whilst Poland’s Wang Zeng Yi moves from no.107 to no.85, Italy’s Mihai Bobocica from no.99 to no.66, Olekdandr Didukh of the Ukraine from no.122 to no.92 and Latvia’s Matiss Burgis from no.139 to no.102.
All qualified for the London Olympic Games but India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta did not enjoy the best of fortunes in Doha; no London place.
The consolation prize for the Indian star is that he climbs from no.83 to no.86.
Alas, there are always those who fall.
Notably, Panagiotis Gionis of Greece falls from no.35 to no.45, Singapore’s Yang Zi from no.49 to no.59 and Emmanuel Lebesson of France from no.49 to no.69.
Also descending is Korea’s Jeung Sang Eun, he falls from no.67 to no79; a somewhat similar scenario to Sweden’s Pär Gerell. Previously at no.69, he is now at no.80.
Meanwhile on the Under 15 Boys’ World Rankings there is a new name; Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa who excelled on the ITTF Euro-African Circuit in both Minsk and Zagreb enters at no.2 behind China’s Zhou Qihao.
Kohei Sambe, also from Japan who was in fine form in Minsk is in the no.3 position; the casualty is China’s Yi Ziyang, he fall from no.2 to no.4.
Koki Niwa Leads
Meanwhile, Japan’s Koki Niwa heads both the Under 21 Men’s and Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings; in the former Korea’s Kim Min Seok and Seo Hyun Deok share second place; whilst in the latter, China’s Lin Guaoyan and Simon Gauzy of France occupy the next two respective places.