by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
At the 2017 World Junior Championships, alongside Shi Yunyao, Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu, she was a member of the outfit that won gold in the Girls’ Team event; partnering Shi Yanyao, she was the runner up in the Girls’ Doubles competition, whilst as proceedings came to a close she was a Girls’ Singles silver medallist.
The one event where a medal was not gained was in the Mixed Doubles, where partnering Xu Haidong, the duo experienced a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Adina Diaconu.
In Lignano Sabbiadoro, it is Romania that provides the greatest challenge to the aspirations of Qian Tianyi.
Andreea Dragoman, Andreea Hudusan and Tania Plaian form the top seeded outfit in the Junior Girls’ Team event; Qian Tianyi alongside Huang Fanzhen and Wu Yanchen reserve the second seeded spot.
It is very similar in the Junior Girls’ Doubles competition; Andreea Dragoman and Tania Plaian are the top seeds; Qian Tianyi and Huang Fanzhen are next in line. However, the Junior Girls’ Singles order of merit is slightly different. Qian Tianyi heads the list with Andreea Dragoman in second place; Maharyta Baltushite of Belarus, followed by Tania Plaian complete the top four names.
Undoubtedly, Andreea Dragoman presents a major challenge to Qian Tianyi’s aspiration; earlier this year in February, she emerged successful at the Road to Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games qualification tournament in Hodonin.
A major challenger for honours but the most potent challenge for Qian Tianyi in the Junior Girls’ Singles event may well emanate from her doubles partner; earlier this year Huang Fanzhen was the runner up in the Czech Republic. She was beaten in the final by Shi Yunyao.
Play commences in Lignano Sabbiadoro with the individual events.