Tournaments

10 Jul 2018

The 2018 Asian Games to be staged from Saturday 18th August to Sunday 2nd September in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, the dates move ever closer; in order to prepare for the prestigious quadrennial event, the players who currently head the Men’s and Women’s World Rankings, China’s Fan Zhendong and Zhu Yuling, have withdrawn from the forthcoming Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open.

Staged in Geelong, in the south of the country, play is scheduled to commence on Thursday 26th July, being preceded by a two day qualification tournament.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Similarly, in addition to Fan Zhendong, for the same reason Lin Gaoyuan has withdrawn, as alongside Zhu Yuling have Chen Meng, Wang Manyu and Chen Xingtong.

Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan are replaced by Yu Ziyang and Liu Dingshuo, the respective winners of the Boys’ Singles titles at the World Junior Championships in Shanghai in 2014 and in La Roche-sur-Yon in 2015.

Meanwhile, the female replacements are Feng Yalan, He Zhuojia, Liu Weishan and Fan Siqi; they may not quite have the same record of success as those they replace but make no mistake, all can compete with the very best.

In addition to winning the Girls’ Singles title at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Cairo, Feng Yalan has three ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles titles to her credit.

Somewhat similarly He Zhoujia has proved she can trouble the elite. Earlier this year she beat colleague, Liu Shiwen at the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2018 Hong Kong Open. Also in 2014 she won on the ITTF World Tour in Argentina. Pertinently she beat Fan Siqi in the final.

Similar senior performances have yet to come the way of Liu Weishan but she has enjoyed success on the ITTF World Junior Circuit; last year she won in Hong Kong.

Chinese withdrawals, there are three more. Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha, scheduled to compete in the respective Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events at the forthcoming Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, have withdrawn, as has Xue Fei, the player who won the Boys’ Singles title at the 2017 World Junior Championships.

Notable Chinese absentees but arguably the most notable of all are present; the reigning Olympic and World champions.

The names of Ma Long and Ding Ning both appear on the entry list as do those of their colleagues, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen. Also, note the name of another member of that celebrated club, Zhang Jike is on duty.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster China Open Fan Zhendong Zhu Yuling
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