by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Aiming for a place on the podium, it was a feat she achieved in Markham in the Junior Girls’ Team competition. when reaching the semi-finals in partnership with compatriot Chen Yu-Hsan; however in Rarotonga the focus is on the Junior Girls’ Singles event and then the Road to Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games – Oceania qualification tournament.
Ivy Liao starts the favourite at the Cook Islands Junior and Cadet Open but there is formidable opposition from Malaysia’s Alice Chang Li Sun in addition the Australian duo of Parleen Kaur and Michelle Wu.
Notably Alice Chang Li Sun was in action in April at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games; she safely negotiated the group stage of the Women’s Singles event prior to suffering a first round defeat at the hands of Singapore’s Zhou Yihan.
Experience of playing in a major international tournament can only be beneficial; it is the same for Parleen Kaur, earlier this year, alongside Jian Fang Lay and Melissa Tapper she was on duty for Australia in late February at the 2018 ITTF World Team Cup in London.
Meanwhile, Michelle Wu does not have the recent international experience gained by Alice Chang Li Sian and Parleen Kaur, nor that of Ivy Liao who competed in the Liebherr 2017 World Championships in the German city of Düsseldorf but last year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, she was the Junior Girls’ Singles runner up on home soil in Tweed Heads.
Play commences with the Junior Girls’ Team and Cadet Girls’ Team events.