by Ian Marshall, Editor
A train of thought has been uttered in recent months and weeks that Japan may pose a major threat to Chinese hegemony at forthcoming Liebherr 2019 World Championships in the Hungarian capital city of Budapest.
If that is to be the scenario, then very quickly their aspiring young ladies must do exactly what China has done; they must do their homework and they must complete their study very thoroughly.
Two years ago at the Seamaster 2017 Asian Championships Ding Ning suffered at the hands of Miu Hirano, five months ago in November on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour in Sweden, she was beaten by Mima Ito.
Likewise, last year in Sweden, Mima Ito beat Liu Shiwen at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships in Halmstad, before repeating the same feat at the quarter-final stage in Stockholm. Also, in July at the Seamaster 2018 Shinan Korea Open, Kasumi Ishikawa accounted for Sun Yingsha.
In Doha, Japan fielding its full gambit of players who will compete in the women’s singles event in Budapest; only Mima Ito reached the quarter-finals, she was beaten by Ding Ning (12-10, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8), who had clearly completed her homework following the defeat in Stockholm.
One round earlier, Miu Hirano had lost to He Zhuojia (11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5); Miyu Kato had been beaten by Singapore’s Feng Tianwei (11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9). Meanwhile the previous day, Sun Yingsha had, like Ding Ning, completed her homework. She had beaten Kasumi Ishikawa to avenge the Korean reverse (11-7, 11-9, 14-12, 11-5); additionally, Hitomi Sato had experienced defeat. She had suffered by the minimal margin when facing Miyu Kato (11-7, 6-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 15-13).
Conversely, all four Chinese players present in Doha, who will compete in the women’s singles event in Budapest, progressed. In addition to Ding Ning, Wang Manyu beat Singapore’s Feng Tianwei to book her semi-final place; Liu Shiwen and Sun Yingsha advanced to the quarter-finals. In the second round, Liu Shiwen overcame colleague Gu Yuting (11-8, 11-5, 11-5, 13-11), Sun Yingsha accounted for Korea Republic’s Kim Hayeong (11-4, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3).
Homework completed, top marks surely await in Budapest.