by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
There are three categories in which fans may vote: Male Player of the Year, Female Player of the Year and Star Point of the Year.
China’s Fan Zhendong and Ma Long, alongside Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna are the candidates for the Male Player of the Year award; for the Female Player of the Year accolade, the names in question are China’s Ding Ning and DPR Korea’s Kim Song I, in addition to the Japanese duo of Miu Hirano and Mima Ito.
Male Star Player of the Year: Quadri Aruna, Fan Zhendong, Ma Long or Jun Mizutani?
Nowadays we use the word “athlete” to describe what those of more senior years may determine as “player”; but has not the sport of table tennis become ever more demanding on the body? Is it not as demanding as athletics itself?
At the end of the 100 metres at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Usain Bolt, we can safely describe him as an athlete, needed a deep breath and a few moments to recover mind, body and soul, after his win.
Star Point of the Year: athleticism of the highest order
On the 2016 ITTF World Tour, the Women’s Singles event saw deep breaths needed. In Germany, Korea’s Yang Haeun gave heart and soul against China’s Hu Limei; before later in Korea, Ding Ning improvised against Japan’s Hina Hayata to produce a stunning top spin exchange.
Likewise, in Kuwait, Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia recovered from being prone on the floor when facing Portugal’s Jun Mizutani; whilst in Japan Fan Zhendong played marbles when opposing Frenchmen, Simon Gauzy.
Similarly, at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Doha there was physical exhilaration, none more so when two bright young men in the guise of England’s Sam Walker and Yuya Oshima drew swords; scintillating sport.
Female Star Player of the Year: Ding Ning, Miu Hirano, Mima Ito or Kim Song I?
The decision is yours, the destiny of the Star Point is totally based on voting, the decision to determine the Male Player of the Year and Female Player of the Year is 50 per cent the decision of the fans, 50 per cent the decision of an expert panel.
2016 ITTF Star Awards: Click here to cast your vote
For further information including press accreditation contact, Matt Pound, Promotion and Media Manager
Voting closes on Sunday 13th November