by Ian Marshall, Editor
No Ma Long but the combination of Xu Xin, Fan Zhendong, Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun alongside Wang Chuqin is a quite breathtaking line-up; it is no different for women. List the top seven names on the current world rankings, leave out Zhu Yuling, let her focus on the women’s doubles and you have the selection; Chen Meng, Ding Ning, Liu Shiwen, Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha.
In the men’s singles event, Xu Xin heads the order followed by Fan Zhendong, Lin Gaoyuan and Tomokazu Harimoto; Liang Jingkun, Jang Woojin, Wong Chun Ting and Lee Sangsu complete the top eight names, following the withdrawal of Chinese Taipei’s teenage talent Lin Yun-Ju.
Notably there is no Jun Mizutani or Koki Niwa in the Japanese selection; Tomokazu Harimoto is supported by brothers Maharu and Kazuhiro Yoshimura with Yukiya Uda and Takuya Jin completing the order.
Japan occupies the no.4 seeded position; the no.2 spot is in the hands of the Korea Republic. Jang Woojin joins forces with An Jaehyun, Jeong Youngsik, Lee Sangsu and Kim Minhyeok.
Chinese Taipei sits at no.3. The absence of their star man Lin Yun-Ju means the island’s hopes rest on Chen Chien-An, Pang Wang-Wei, Wang Tai-Wei, Hung Tzu‐Hsiang and Liao Cheng‐Ting.
In the women’s singles, the top five places are filled by the Chinese team. Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano – the sensational women’s singles winner two years ago in Wuxi – are next on the list, with Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching being the no.8 seed.
The notable name missing from the no.2 seeded Japanese women’s team selection is that of Mima Ito. Saki Shibata, Miyu Kato and Hitomi Sato form the trio to join Ishikawa and Hirano.
Hong Kong occupies the no.3 seeded spot followed by the Korea Republic. The Hong Kong team sheet reads Doo Hoi Kem, Chau Wing Sze, Lee Ho Ching, Minnie Soo Wai Yam and Zhu Chengzhu; for Korea Republic the order announced is Suh Hyowon, Yang Haeun, Shin Yubin, Lee Eunhye and Jeon Jihee.
Top spots for China, it is the very same in the doubles events. Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, crowned world champions in 2017 in Düsseldorf, occupy the top seeded men’s doubles spot; likewise partnering Liu Shiwen, Xu Xin occupies the same mixed doubles status.
Next in line to Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin is the pairing of Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan, followed by Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu; Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Ho Kwan Kit complete the top four pairs.
Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles competition, the no.2 seeded spot is occupied by Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha – the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games gold medallists. They are followed by Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, winners in Incheon at the 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.
Similarly, in the women’s doubles event, China is to the fore. Chen Meng and Wang Manyu occupy the top seeded position followed by Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling. Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa pursued by Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching complete the top four pairs.
Play commences on Sunday 15th September with the team events.