27 Sep 2018

An outsider for a place on the podium, a player who may cause havoc by ending the hopes of higher rated opposition; at the forthcoming Uncle Pop 2018 ITTF Women's World Cup, play commencing in the Chinese city of Chengdu on Friday 28th September, there is one player who may well cause mayhem.

In fact I would argue she is a strong medal favourite; step forward DPR Korea’s Kim Song I.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A first appearance in the tournament, the recipient of the wild card afforded by the International Table Tennis Federation, Kim Song I is the no.18 seed.

Thus, she must commence her quest for honours in the group stage, not only must she start in the initial phase, in the goal to gain one of the top two places in a group of three players and thus advance to the main draw, she will be the lowest ranked; for more than one player that spells danger.

Moreover, in competitions such as the Uncle Pop 2018 ITTF Women’s World Cup where a national association is limited to two entrants, Kim Song I has a rather good reputation; at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where the same restriction applied, Kim Song I was a Women’s Singles bronze medallist.

Equally, which bodes well for her group phase contests, Kim Song I is a fast starter; at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games in the first stage of the Women’s Singles event she beat China’s Gu Yuting, the eventual gold medallist!

A strong candidate to finish in first place in her group, whoever she meets; most certainly she is a strong candidate for a semi-final place. Combine the ITTF World Tour and the ITTF Challenge Series; she has won as many Women’s Singles titles at China’s Zhu Yuling, the top seed, four in total. In Chendgu, of the players competing, only Ding Ning, also from China and Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa have won more; Ding Ning has 14 such titles to her credit, nine is the number for Kasumi Ishikawa.

Seeding suggests a rank outsider, little chance of a medal, past performances suggest otherwise; if she can avoid Zhu Yuling or Ding Ning in her quarter of the draw, a medal is more likely than not.

Uncle Pop 2018 ITTF Women’s World Cup: Statistic provided by Beijing Sport University

World Cup 2018 Uncle Pop Women's World Cup Kim Song I

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