by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Similar to Kasumi Ishikawa, Suh Hyowon is also on duty, she is the no.8 seed but if either player is to reach the same stage as they did in Germany, they must excel all previous performances.
Notably there are no less than eleven players from the People’s Republic of China named on the Women’s Singles entry list; moreover, all have a record of success in some form or other on the international scene. Nowhere is this more evident than with He Zhoujia, the lowest rated player on the Chinese entry list; currently ranked no.283 in the global order, in 2015, she was the runner up on the ITTF World Tour in Pyongyang.
Wang Manyu heads the Chinese list being followed by Chen Xingtong, Liu Shiwen and Sun Yingsha. Wang Manyu is the no.3 seed behind Singapore’s Feng Tianwei. She is immediately ahead of Japan’s Miu Hirano and Mima Ito. Chen Xingtong is the no.6 seed with Liu Shiwen occupying the no.7 seeded spot. Sun Yingsha, is the no.11 seed, Japan’s Hitomi Sato and Chen Szu-Yu being the players immediately above; Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching completes the top 12 names.
Meanwhile, for Gu Yuting, Chen Ke and Wang Yidi as well as for Mu Zi, Li Jiayi and He Zhuojia, they must compete in the qualification tournament.
Equally for Japan’s Hina Hayata and Mima Ito in the Women’s Doubles event, if they are to justify that status, they need to repeat the form or better of last November, when they beat China’s Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling in the Swedish Open final. In Hong Kong, they are the top seeds with Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, the pair they overcame in the German title decider in March, the no.2 seeds.
Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching are the no.3 seed but note the next names on the list. Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha occupy the no.4 seeded position; Chen Ke and Wang Manyu immediately follow. Earlier this year Cheng Xingtong and Sun Yingsha beat Chen Ke and Wang Manyu in the Hungarian final; in Qatar in the gold medal contest, the decision was reversed.
Now what of Japan’s Saki Shibata, can she make it an unprecedented six Under 21 Women’s Singles titles in a row? She is the top seed ahead of the host association’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam but looking over their shoulders are the names of Chen Ke and Zhang Rui.
Chen Ke, who won in January in Hungary, is the no.3 seed; Zhang Rui, who succeeded in March in Qatar, is the no.6 seed.
Overall, play commences on Tuesday 22nd May with the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events.