25 Apr 2017

It was a scary week for China. A cute little bubbly Japanese teenager rightfully entered their territory and robbed them of their most priced sporting possession, the table tennis crown. This time it was the Asian Championship title. Miu Hirano beat the Chinese in their own territory. One after the other.

And now, she is off preparing to attack at the biggest platform of table tennis in 2017, the Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf.

By Neha Aggarwal

In a matter of two days, she shocked the entire world. Not one or two, but she beat three top Chinese players at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships in Wuxi from 9th – 16th April 2017. She not only beat the Chinese, but she beat them on their home soil. She won the title, and ruptured the status quo.

The 17-year old Japanese sensation, Miu Hirano, the current world no.11, but expected to get back in top 10 in May 2017, is in thunderous form.

She is now eyeing the Liebherr 2017 World Championship in Düsseldorf from 29th May – 5th July 2017.

Recalling her victory over Olympic Champion and World no.1 Ding Ning, World no.2 Zhu Yuling and World no.5 Chen Meng in Wuxi, Hirano said:

“I felt very good, especially physically, although in quarter finals before playing against Ding Ning I was not confident at all that I could win. It was a miracle, a present for my birthday! After that match, I gained a lot of confidence, which helped me to just get better and better. The next matches flew by in the same rhythm.”- Miu Hirano.

Hirano entered the Chinese Super league last year which proved to be a catalyst in her development, along with the intense physical training she underwent in the last couple of months.

The results were evident. Hirano was just way faster than her Chinese opponents, a sight rarely seen.

“Probably, had I not played in China’s highest league, none of this would have been possible. I gained a lot of experience and I learned how to play against Chinese rubbers.” – Miu Hirano.

Post the Women’s Singles final match, where Miu Hirano beat Chen Meng, China’s National Team coach Kong Linghui had admitted:

“Chen Meng had difficulties receiving her serves and did not have any advantage in her first three strokes. We will definitely have to study Hirano’s strengths during our closed training for the Championships. Three consecutive victories against our top players has proven her capabilities.”- Kong Linghui

I am sure the video analysis sessions are on in full swing at the Chinese National Team’s headquarters right now.

Hirano is aware of that fact as well. She needs to have something new in Düsseldorf, and certainly raise her bar. A mentally, physically, technically and tactically stronger Hirano will be a deadly force to overcome in Düsseldorf.

“I am aiming to win a medal in singles and in doubles event partnering Kasumi Ishikawa.”- Miu Hirano.

But this 17-year old is aiming something bigger too. The biggest platform of all, the Olympic Games. In 2020, they will be in Tokyo, Japan and seems like Miu Hirano is on the right track!

But before that, keep an eye on her in just five weeks from now in Düsseldorf, from 29th May-5th June 2017.

Or, watch live on ITTV.

Liebherr 2017 World Championships Miu Hirano

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