by Ian Marshall, Editor
Furthermore, Mima Ito could well face the same test again in Incheon in December.
Once play concludes in Linz, the names for the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals will be announced officially. In addition to Kasumi Ishikawa, also from Japan and the no.4 seed, alongside Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.7 seed, the top eight names in Linz all have sufficient points to qualify for the prestigious end of year tournament.
Notably, Zhu Yuling, the top seed and Chen Meng, the no.5 seed, will complete the mandatory five appearance criteria by competing in Austria.
Similarly, Chen Xingtong alongside Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon and Japan’s Hitomi Sato are all guaranteed invitations to Incheon; in the Women’s Singles event in Linz, Suh Hyowon is the no.12 seed, Hitomi Sato, the no.14 seed. It is the same for Japan’s Saki Shibata who must compete in the preliminary stages in Linz; her place at the Grand Finals is secure.
However, for other leading names in action at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Liebherr Austrian Open, the passport has still to be stamped.
Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.9 seed and Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.11 seed, are very much on course; on the Women’s Singles Standings, Miu Hirano is listed at no.13 (417 points), Feng Tianwei at no.15 (415 points), sandwiched in between is China’s Sun Yingsha (416 points) who in Linz must play in the qualification tournament.
The one seeded player in Linz not in real contention is Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the no.13 seed, she will need to produce the performance of a lifetime and reach the final in order to gain an Incheon invitation. Presently, she is listed at no.28 (165 points).
Currently, the 16th and last qualification place is owned by Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee (308 points).
In Linz, Jeon Jihee must compete in the preliminary rounds and she will be looking over her shoulder; next on the list is China’s He Zhoujia (279 points), by competing in Linz she will complete the five appearance criteria.
Sunday 4th November: Latest Standings following Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open