by Simon Daish
Always a worthy adversary but Chuang Chih-Yuan is yet to reach the lofty heights of a quarter-finals spot in the men’s singles category with his personal best finishes coming in 2007, 2013 and 2017, reaching the Round of 16 on all three occasions.
Seeded 19th in Budapest another top 16 finish would be seen as another strong performance for Chuang Chih-Yuan, who turned 38 early this month, but surely the quarter-finals is the objective for the Chinese Taipei legend?
Another name to note is the player seeded directly below Chuang Chih-Yuan, 18-year-old Lin Yun-Ju. Winner of his first men’s singles title at the recent ITTF Challenge Plus event in Oman Lin Yun-Ju also produced a fine display in Qatar, beating Wong Chun Ting and Dimitrij Ovtcharov. Exiting at the opening hurdle of the World Championships two years ago – will the teenage star fare better in Budapest?
Chen Chien-An, who famously defeated Zhang Jike in the lead-up to Rio 2016, is also included in the player roster for the men’s singles event as are Peng Wang-Wei and Wang Tai-Wei.
Over in the women’s singles tournament it’s Cheng I-Ching who carries Chinese Taipei’s greatest threat in the race for podium positions. Her breakthrough moment came at the 2016 Women’s World Cup where she took home a silver medal and has since won two bronzes at the event – in Budapest she occupies the no.7 seeded position.
Then there’s Chen Szu-Yu, Chinese Taipei’s second highest seeded player in the women’s singles draw at 20th and a major threat to anyone who stands in his way. Finishing in the third round in 2017, Chen Szu-Yu will be determined to enjoy a stronger outing this time out.
Rounding out the rest of Chinese Taipei’s squad list for the women’s singles draw is Cheng Hsien-Tzu, Liu Hsing-Yin and Su Pei-Ling.
Away from the singles action the 2013 championship winning pair of Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan partner up yet again in the hunt for men’s doubles glory while Cheng I-Ching, who won silver two years back in Düsseldorf, will compete alongside Lin Yun-Ju in the mixed doubles competition.
See the Chinese Taipei stars take on the world’s finest in Budapest by purchasing your tickets for the Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships: