by Simon Daish
The sole player to negotiate stage one without a defeat to her name, Sun Yingsha posted an astonishing 15 victories from her 15 matches in Beijing to progress to the next stage as the clear winner.
Finishing just behind, Chen Xingtong claimed the no.2 spot following her 13 successes in Beijing while Wang Yidi and Gu Yuting were awarded third and fourth positions with 12 and nine wins respectively.
Joining the above athletes in stage two are the top two attacking style pimple players from the opening stage: Sun Mingyang emerged as the top attacking pimple player with eight wins and He Zhuojia also moves through with seven wins.
Li Sun, coach of the Chinese Women’s Team, is satisfied with the final outcome from stage one but insists that there’s still plenty of work to be done ahead of this year’s World Championships and the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
“The result is basically within our expectations. Most players have played out their ideal performance. Currently, the most important task for our women’s team is how to build up the resistance of pressure. We should utilize this kind of high-pressure internal competition to stimulate players. All the work we have done now is for Tokyo 2020 – all the players should know that and bear it in mind. We need to do some targeted training to better fulfill the task for 2020.” Li Sun
Over in the men’s competition no player managed to come away from stage one with a perfect record, resulting in a tight race at the top-end of the table.
Three names couldn’t be separated at the summit with Zhao Zihao, Xu Chenhao and Fang Bo experiencing 11 wins and three defeats each.
Zhou Kai and Yu Ziyang are the next two players on the list of successful qualifiers for stage two, picking up 10 wins apiece and Xue Fei rounds off the top six with nine victories to his name.
The race for the Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Championships continues in Shenzhen with stage two of the Marvellous 12 taking place from 28th February – 2nd March.