by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Finding form but may I also suggest that in the past 12 months, of those on duty in the Grand Duchy, she has made more progress than most. Moreover, in the next few years, could she pose the national selectors, a welcome headache?
In 2016 on the ITTF World Junior Circuit she won in Spain; she was a semi-finalist in France, Sweden, Portugal, Chinese Taipei and Hungary. Additionally she was a quarter-finalist in the Czech Republic.
Last year, she was the runner up in Czech Republic and Hong Kong, in France, as the previous year in the Czech Republic, she reached the round of the last eight.
Time and again she has performed well on the international stage, a fact endorsed at the end of last year when on duty at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda. Notably she was the player to dent China’s Perfect record in the Girls’ Team event when she accounted for Shi Xunyao, a player against whom she had experienced defeat in the equivalent event earlier in the year at the Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open.
Now gaze into the future; no selection is automatic but I doubt there was much disagreement in the choice of the Japanese Women’s Team for the London 2012 Olympic Games; Kasumi Ishikawa, Ai Fukuhara and Sayaka Hirano virtually picked themselves; of course after they won the silver medal, nobody disagreed.
However, now the depth of female Japanese excellence is every greater with Miu Hirano, Mima Ito and Hina Hayata, all born in 2000, excelling on the senior scene. Remember, listed at no.4 on the Women’s World Rankings, Kasumi Ishikawa in only 24 years old.
A squad of five players for the forthcoming Liebherr 2018 World Championships in Halmstad, if Kasumi Ishikawa, Miu Hirano, Mima Ito and Hina Hayata have done sufficient to gain the nod, who would be one remaining choice?
There is plenty of competition but success in Luxembourg and Miyu Nagasaki could well state her case.
In Luxembourg at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals, Miyu Nagasaki is the no.2 seed in the Girls’ Singles event.