Li Xiaoxia, no.1 in London but no.2 on global list
Photo By: An Sung Ho
Named by her supporters as “Miss Number Two”, the result of being beaten in the final of the Women’s Singles event at the 2007 and 2011 World Championships, China’s Li Xiaoxia dispelled that image somewhat by winning gold in both the Women’s Singles and Women’s Team events at the London Olympic Games.
However, the tag continues to haunt her; on the Women’s World Rankings published by the International Table Tennis Federation, following proceedings in the ExCeL Arena, Li Xiaoxia is listed in second spot, a rise of one place from the previous month.
Ding Ning who was “Miss Number Two” in the Women’s Singles event at the Olympic Games retains her top billing.
One Place Different
The effect is that compatriot, Liu Shiwen, drops one place to no.3, with Guo Yan remaining at no.4.
Also, there is a drop of one place to no.9 for Guo Yue, the player who completed the Chinese Women’s Team line-up in London.
Progress for Li Xiaoxia and there is progress for three other London medallists.
Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, who secured bronze in both the Women’s Singles and Women’s Team events, climbs one place to no.7, behind Women’s Team silver medallists, Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and Ai Fukuhara.
Kasumi Ishikawa is now at no.5 with Ai Fukuhara at no.7; alas for Sayaka Hirano who completed the Japanese team in London it is not such good news. She falls from no.18 to no.23.
However, for Feng Tianwei’s colleagues in the Women’s Team event, it is good news.
Wang Yuegu moves one place to no.10 with Li Jiawei now being at no.13. Previously she was listed at no.15.
Higher rankings for medal winners but for two notable names who fell short, it is movement in the downward direction.
Both Korea’s Kim Kyungah and Hong Kong’s Tie Yana were seen as possible medalists before proceedings began; both fell short.
The effect is that Kim Kyungah falls from no.5 to no.8 and Tie Yana from no.10 to no.12; China’s Wu Yang, formerly at no.12, is now at no.11.
A fall down the list for Kim Kyungah and Tie Yana but for others who did not clinch a medal but attracted the attention with fine performances, there are higher rankings.
Beneficiaries of London Experience
Poland’s Li Qian, who beat Feng Tianwei in the Women’s Team event, moves from no.30 to no.25; similarly Poland’s Elizabeta Samara and Daniela Dodean both make progress.
The third round victor over Tie Yana in the Women’s Team event, Elizabeta Samara climbs from no.52 to no 36; whilst Daniela Dodean, who won a titanic seven games second round Women’s Singles duel against Ukraine’s Tatyana Bilenko is now at no.37. Formerly she was at no.42.
In Similar Vein
In a similar vein, DPR Korea’s Kim Jong moves from no.53 to no.46 and Ukraine’s Margaryta Pestoska from no.54 to no.47.
Also, France has reason to smile following Olympic exploits.
Xian Yifang climbs from no.75 to no.60 and Li Xue from no.72 to no.64; whilst for Romania Cornelia Molnar advances from no.104 to no.93.
However, the most notable advances come from two young players on Olympic Games debut; both achieve career high places on the newly published lists.
Austria’s Amelie Solja moves from no.90 to no.76, her previous best being no.85 earlier this year in June; whilst Ariel Hsing of the United States moves from her previous best of no.115 to no.78.
In London, 21 year old Amelie Solja recorded a surprise win in the Women’s Team event over Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun; whilst 16 year old Ariel Hsing also upset the odds.
In the Women’s Singles, she accounted for Luxembourg’s Ni Xialian before losing to Li Xiaoxia in six games; it was the closest anyone came to beating the eventual Olympic champion.
No Changes at Top
Meanwhile in the Under 21 Women’s Rankings, there are no changes at the very top.
Liu Shiwen remains in first place, followed by Kasumi Ishikawa and Wu Yang.
Asian Junior Championships Effect
However, as a result of the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships there are changes in the Under 18 and Under 15 Girls’ Rankings.
China’s Chen Meng, the winner of the Junior Girls’ Singles title at the Asian Juniorv and Cadet Championships in now at no.1 on the Under Girls’ Rankings, followed by Korea’s former no.1, Yang Haeun and Chinese colleague Zhu Yuling.
Previously Chen Meng was at no.3, with Zhu Yuling at no.2.
Equally, there are changes in the Under 15 Girls’ World Rankings; Japan’s Mima Ito remains at no.1 but China’s He Zhoujia climbs one place to no.2 with DPR Korea’s Ri Hyonsim entering the list at no. 3.
Formerly at no.2, Japan’s Yui Hamamoto drops to no.5 with China’s Xingtong entering the list at no.4.
August 2012: Men’s and Women’s World Rankings