by Ian Marshall, Editor
Aiming once again for honours, China provides a formidable contingent of players; in the men’s singles events, the names of Feng Panfeng (class 3), Cao Ningning (class 5) and Zhao Shuai (class 8) all appear on the entry list. All struck gold in the Brazilian city.
Similarly, men’s singles silver medallists three years ago, Korea Republic’s Joo Youngdae (class 1) and China’s Guo Xingyuan (class 4) are present alongside bronze medallists Thailand’s Rungroj Thainiyom (class 6) and China’s Yan Shuo (class 7).
Notably in Taichung all start as favourites for gold; they are the top seeds in their respective events. Strong opposition but none face Rio 2016 medallists.
In the women’s singles competitions, for Mao Jingdian (class 8), it is a similar situation but for her Chinese gold medal winning colleagues from Rio de Janeiro, it is different. Fellow medallists await Liu Jing (class 2), Xue Juan (class 3), Zhang Bian (class 5) and Liu Meng (class 9).
Revenge is in the air in class 1-2, Liu Jing is the no.2 seed; Korea Republic’s Seo Suyeon, the player Liu Jing beat to secure gold in Rio de Janeiro, is the top seed.
Similarly, Xue Juan is the top seed in class 3 but also present is colleague Li Qian, the Rio silver medallist. Li Qian is the no.3 seed, one place behind Zhou Ying, also from China, the 2018 Asian Para Games gold medal winner. In class 5, Zhang Bian is the top seed in an event that witnesses the attendance of Korea Republic’s Jung Younga, bronze medallist in Rio de Janeiro. Jung Younga occupies the no.3 seeded spot, one step behind Jordan’s Khetam Abuawad, silver medallist at last year’s Asian Para Championships.
Intense competition, it is very much the situation for Liu Meng; in class 9 she is the no.3 seed. China’s Xiong Guiyan and Korea Republic’s Kim Kunhea occupy the top three places. Last year Xiong Guiyan secured gold at the Asian Para Championships; Kim Kunhea was a gold medallist at the World Para Championships.
Meanwhile, for Hong Kong’s Ng Mui Wui, she is the only Rio medallist on duty in class 11, she secured bronze, in Taichung she is the top seed. Somewhat similarly, Korea Republic’s Kim Seongok is the only Rio bronze medallist present in class 11 but she faces a most testing time. She is the no.2 seed, behind China’s Wang Rui, gold medallist at the 2018 Asian Para Games.
A total of 174 men and 103 will compete in Taichung.
2019 ITTF Asia Para Championships: Entry List
2019 ITTF Asia Para Championships: Draws and Latest Results