by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Unquestionably for the men, the star name, as it has been time and time again, is China’s Feng Panfeng, gold medallist in both Class 3 and Team Class 3 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He defends the titles won in Jordan.
On that occasion, as in Rio de Janeiro, he secured gold in exactly the same events and with the same colleagues, Zhao Ping and Zhai Xiang. All three compete in Beijing.
Similarly, compatriot Cao Ningning, winner of Class 5 and with Zhang Yan, Team Class 5 in Amman, competes in Beijing, as does Ye Chao Qun. He won Class 8 two years ago, in addition to being the Team Class 8 champion in harness with Zhao Shuai.
Likewise, all will play in Beijing, as will their Chinese compatriots, Yan Shuo and Liao Keli; in Amman Yan Shuo won Class 7, before partnering Lia Keli to Team Class 6-7 success. Also, Zhao Yi Qing, gold medallist in Team Class 9 and Lian Ho, the same in Team Class 10, will play in Beijing.
Host nation players determined to repeat Amman success; it is the same from Korea. Cha Sooyong won Class 2 in Amman, whilst alongside Kim Younggun and Kim Jinsung, the Team Class 4 title was secured.
It is no different for the women. China’s Li Qian, Xue Juan, Zhou Ying, Mao Jingdian and Xiong Guiyan all play on home soil.
In Amman, Li Qian won Class 3, before partnering Xue Juan to Class 1-3 Team gold, a feat also achieved by Zhou Ying. She won Class 4 and secured the top prize in Class 4-5 Team alongside Zhang Bian and Gu Cai, both not present in Beijing. Not to be left out; in Jordan, Mao Jingdian won Class 8.
Success for China and in Amman there was also so success for female Korean and Hong Kong names who will also ply their skills in Beijing. On duty for Korea, Seo Suyeon won Class 1-2 but has now been reclassified to Class 3, whilst for Hong Kong, Wong Ka Man secured the Class 11 title.
A total of 135 men and 68 women will play in Beijing. The national associations represented are: China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Macao, Singapore and Thailand.
2017 Asian Para Championships: Future Matches and Results