02 Nov 2016

Winner of the Women’s Singles title on the ITTF World Tour in Poland in April, later in the year in early October crowned champion at the Seamaster 2016 Women’s World Cup; they are the basic credentials that have earned Japan’s Miu Hirano the nomination for Female Player of the Year.

She will know her fate at the 2016 ITTF Star Awards Evening to be staged in Doha, Qatar on Thursday 8th December.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

On both occasions the now 16 year old started play very much as an outsider for title; in Warsaw she was the no.11 seed; in Philadelphia, the no.5 seed.

Impressively in Poland she beat Li Jiao of the Netherlands at the semi-final stage prior to securing the top prize by ousting Singapore’s Yu Mengyu; likewise at the Seamaster Women’s World Cup, she caused Singapore heartaches by defeating Feng Tianwei before overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching to claim gold.

Facing a younger opponent may cause nerves amongst more senior players, not wishing to suffer the ignominy of losing to a young fledgling. However, the true professional should surely be able to enter the fray with the view that every player is a player; whether from the geriatric selection or from the kindergarten.

Surely that is the strength of Miu Hirano. She possesses a certain innocence as she approaches the duel in prospect. She welcomes with the next time she can play table tennis, looking forward to another half hour or so of enjoyment.

Does the pedigree of the adversary ever enter her head? She enjoys the experience of playing table tennis, it’s that simple and that is what makes her such a formidable adversary.

Equally, she is prepared to try some new ideas. There is no sense of inhibition; in the final in Philadelphia, her variety of services forced errors time and again from Cheng I-Ching.

The approach is positive, the behaviour exemplary; when won the last point to secure gold at the Seamaster 2016 Women’s World Cup; there was a raise of the left hand, a smile towards her coach and a handshake with her adversary and officials before returning courtside.

Miu Hirano behaved professionally; that is worth a vote.

 2016 ITTF Star Awards: Click here to cast your vote

For further information including press accreditation contact, Matt Pound, Promotion and Media Manager

E-mail: media@ittfmail.com

Voting closes on Sunday 13th November

ITTF Star Awards Miu Hirano

2018 ITTF Star Awards Videos