27 Aug 2019

Imposing performances; the respective winners of the men’s and women’s singles titles at the recently concluded 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open; Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and China’s Chen Xingtong can very much look forward to places in the Grand Finals to be staged later in the year in December.

Success in Olomouc, having passed the minimum five appearance basic requirement, each cemented their chances of gaining one of the overall 16 places available in each discipline; only three tournaments remain on this year’s calendar – Sweden, Germany, Austria.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

On the men’s singles standings, Lin Yin-Ju appears at no.5 (741 points), one place behind Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto (764 points) who experienced a first round exit in Olomouc. They trail the Chinese trio comprising Xu Xin (1,713 points), Ma Long (1,425 points) and Lin Gaoyuan (764 points).

Notably, all four men’s singles semi-finalists in Olomouc are very much in contention for places in the Grand Finals. Brazil’s Hugo Calderano is at no.10 (369 points), Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov one place lower (356 points), colleague Timo Boll at no.15 (244 points). Olomouc was a fourth appearance for Timo Boll on this year’s ITTF World Tour, he needs one more; no doubt in October he will compete on home soil in Germany.

Patrick Franziska is very much on course for a place in the Grand Finals (Photo: Lukas Gabon)

 

Likewise, quarter-finalists in the Czech Republic, Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu are very much in contention for Grand Finals places. Patrick Franziska is listed at no.12 (355 points), Lee Sangsu just below the line at no.18 (205 points). Also for those who suffered earlier exits in Olomouc the door is open. In addition to Tomokazu Harimoto, compatriot Jun Mizutani, twice a Grand Finals winner, is named at no.13 (311 points), Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting on the brink at no.17 (222 points).

Fighting on three fronts

A place in the men’s singles event at the Grand Finals for Lin Yu-Ju; it is also a men’s doubles option. Despite defeat in the final in Olomouc in harness with Liao Cheng-Ting at the hands of Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Lee Sangsu, on the standings the duo occupies the no.7 spot (251 points). The list is led by Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu (750 points). Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, who experienced a quarter-final exit in Olomouc, occupy third place (451 points).

Two possibilities at the Grand Finals for Lin Yun-Ju, there could well be a third. In the mixed doubles standings partnering Cheng I-Ching, the duo occupies the no.2 spot (763 points). Wong Chun Ting and Hong Kong colleague, Doo Hoi Kem retain top place (770 points).

Shin Yubin (front) and (rear) Cho Daeseong, the somewhat surprise winners in Olomouc (Photo: Lukas Kabon)

 

Neither pair competed in Olomouc; significantly Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito were present and now reserve the no.4 position (500 points), like the leading pairs having completed the four appearance criteria as a partnership. Runners up, they were beaten in the final by the Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin; they are now listed in the no.6 spot (263 points) but need one more appearance to meet the minimum criteria.

China in ascendancy

Meanwhile, on the women’s singles standings, Chen Xingtong is named at no.7 (739 points), one step behind Japan’s Mima Ito (760 points), the player she beat in the second round in Olomouc. China’s Sun Yingsha (1,319 points) continues to head the list followed by compatriots Chen Meng (1,300 points), Wang Manyu (1,051 points), Liu Shiwen (779 points) and Ding Ning (775 points).

Chen Xingtong, the winner in Olomouc (Photo: Lukas Kabon)

 

Somewhat significantly, Chen Xingtong is one place ahead of Japan’s Miu Hirano (570 points), the player she overcame in the Czech Republic final; likewise Miu Hirano is one ahead of colleague Kasumi Ishikawa (466 points), the player she ousted in the penultimate round.

Increasing their chances of a Grand Finals places; in the Czech Republic China’s He Zhuojia and Gu Yuting alongside Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Austria’s Sofia Polcanova did their cause no harm. He Zhuojia is named at no.12 (338 points), Jeon Jihee at n.16 (234 points). Just below the line, Gu Yuting is at no.17 (183 points), Sofia Polcanova at no.20 (153 points).

Needing appearances

Possibilities for Gu Yuting in the women’s singles event, in partnership with Mu Zi it is the same in the women’s doubles. The winners in both Bulgaria and the Czech Republic they are named at no.3 (400 points) on the women’s doubles standings but like compatriots, Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, who head the list (500 points), have only made two appearances as a partnership this year.

Gu Yuting (foreground) and (rear) Mu Zi must make two more appearances if they are to qualify for the Grand Finals (Photo: Lukas Kabon)

 

Japan’s Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki who have competed six times together, suffering a first round defeat in Olomouc when facing Gu Yuting and Mu Zi, lead the order of those eligible. They are in the no.7 spot (276 points).

Eyes now turn to Stockholm; the 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open commences on Tuesday 1st October.

Monday 26th August: Latest Standings after 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open

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