by Ian Marshall, Editor
Gold medallist in Hungary and Hong Kong, next in line to Lin Gaoyuan (1,150 points) are colleagues Ma Long (1,100 points) and Xu Xin (963 points).
The trio completes the names of those who this year have struck gold, Ma Long beating Lin Gaoyuan in the finals in both Qatar and China; Xu Xin being the most recent winner when succeeding in Japan. Lin Yun-Ju occupies fifth place (433 points) one position behind Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto (450 points), the runner-up in Hong Kong.
Undoubtedly in Sapporo, Lin Yun-Ju raised eyebrows by reaching the men’s singles final, so did China’s Sun Yingsha, the winner of the women’s singles event. She now occupies fourth place on the women’s singles standings (756 points), a list led by Wang Manyu, with colleagues Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen next in line.
Four appearances to date on this year’s Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour, Wang Manyu (963 points) won in Qatar; she was the runner-up in China, a semi-finalist in Hungary and most recently a quarter-finalist in Japan. Likewise, Chen Meng (950 points) prevailed in Hungary and China, her only defeat of the year coming in Japan when losing at the semi-final stage in opposition to Sun Yingsha. Next in line to Sun is Japan’s Mima Ito (450 points), the runner-up in Hong Kong when beaten in the final by China’s Wang Yidi, listed one place lower (383 points).
Chinese names at the top of the list, it is the same in the women’s doubles but not in the men’s doubles or mixed doubles. Winners in China, the runners-up in Qatar, Germany’s Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska (450 points) head the men’s doubles listing ahead of Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting (350 points), the pair who in Qatar proved their nemesis. They are followed by Chinese pairings; next in line is Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin (300 points), pursued by Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan (294 points). Liang Jingkun and Xu Xin (200 points) occupy fifth position.
Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin won recently in Japan. Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan succeeded in Hong Kong. Liang Jingkun and Xu Xin emerged victorious in the first tournament of the year in Hungary.
Success in Hungary for Liang Jingkun and Xu Xin, it was the same in the women’s doubles event for Wang Manyu and Zhu Yuling, as in the mixed doubles it was for Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen. Both pairs occupy the second place on the respective standing; Wang Manyu and Zhu Yuling (350 points) behind Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu (450 points), Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen (500 points), next in line to Lin Yun-Ju and Chinese Taipei colleague Cheng I-Ching (675 points).
Gu Yuting and Liu Shiwen, the winners in China (300 points) occupy third spot on the women’s listings (300 points), alongside Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen (300 points), who were successful in Japan. Next in the list is the partnership of China’s Chen Ke and Mu Zi (200 points), the winners in Hong Kong.
Names appearing with different partners, it is the same on the mixed doubles standings; Xu Xin partnered Liu Shiwen to success in both Hungary and Qatar, whilst joining forces with Zhu Yuling (300 points) to emerge victorious in Sapporo.
Notable wins but the most notable mixed doubles pairing of all is that of Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching (675 points); ever present in this year’s Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour, winners in China and Hong Kong, they head the order.