by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The top seed, Chen Meng also leads the Standings, being ahead of colleagues Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu with Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa in fourth spot.
Notably all four names appear on the Linz entry list; Kasumi Ishikawa, who secured third place at the recently concluded 2017 ATTU-ITTF Asian Cup in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, is the no.3 seed, with Sun Yingsha being the no.4 seed and Wang Manyu, the no.6 seed.
All three have enjoyed success on this year’s Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour; Kasumi Ishikawa won in Bulgaria before the following week being the runner up in the Czech Republic. Similarly, Sun Yingsha excelled in consecutive weeks; sensationally she won in Japan before losing to compatriot Ding Ning in the China final.
Titles this year for Chen Meng, Kasumi Ishikawa and Sun Yingsha, such an accolade has yet be bestowed on Wang Manyu; for her it is a case of climbing the next rung of the ladder. Crowned World Junior champion in Shanghai in 2014, her best of the year is runners up spot in Australia and Qatar.
Second seed in the Women’s Singles is Miu Hirano, like Wang Manyu no title this year but semi-final places at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships and on the Seamaster ITTF World Tour in Korea are most creditable performances. Furthermore, at the just concluded 2017 ATTU-ITTF Asian Cup she extended compatriot, Kasumi Ishikawa the full distance in the bronze medal contest.
A strong challenge in Linz from Japan; in addition amongst the leading names in the Women’s Singles event those of Hitomi Sato and Honoka Hashimoto appear; Hitomi Sato is the no.5 seed, Honoka Hashimoto, the no.7 seed.
Notably the outcome is that seven of the top eight names are all from China or Japan; the odd one out is Liu Jia, she is the no.8 seed and flies the flag for Austria.
It is her first appearance of the year on the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour but she is no stranger to success; in 2004 she won in Brazil in 2008 in Germany before in 2012 succeeding in the Czech Republic and in 2014 in Hungary.