by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Furthermore, there have been several performances of note this year from the leading lights who will compete for honours in the Queen Elizabeth Stadium.
Qian Tianyi and Liu Weishan, like Shi Xunyao from China, are both on duty. Earlier this year in June on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, Qian Tianyi retained her Junior Girls’ Singles title on home soil in Taicang, beating Shi Xunyao at the semi-final stage and Liu Weishan in the final.
Furthermore, in early July, Qian Tianyi was the runner in Asan, Korea at the 2017 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships; she was beaten in the final by colleague Sun Yingsha, the winner on the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour in Japan and the runner up in China.
In Hong Kong, Qian Tianyi is the no.2 seed; Liu Weishan in the no.5 seed; sandwiched in between is the Japanese duo of Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki.
Likewise, both have impressed on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit. Both were quarter-finalists in France. Additionally, Miyu Nagasaki was the runner up in the Czech Republic.
A cause for celebration having performed so well, at the Hang Seng 2017 Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open, for Miyuu Kihara there may be more than one reason to celebrate. On the second day of play, Thursday 3rd August, she will celebrate her 13th birthday.
Two most worthy contenders from Japan and there is one more very much to note. Kana Takeuchi, a quarter-finalist in both the Czech Republic and France, is the no.6 seed.
The top six places all occupied by China and Japan, Chinese Taipei in the guise of Su Pei-Ling and Thailand, represented by Jinnipa Sawettabut complete the top eight names.
Jinnipa Sawettabut has yet to assert herself this year but Su Pei-Ling has most certainly made her mark; in Slovakia she won the Junior Girls’ Singles title.
Proceedings in Hong Kong commence with the team events.