by Ian Marshall, Editor
In the men’s competition, Rafal Czuper is the top seed in class 1-2, an event in which colleague, Tomasz Jakimczuk, bronze meallist last year, also appears; he is the no.4 seed.
Somewhat differently, Rafal Lis is not seeded a class 4, neither is China’s Shi Yanping, bronze medallist last year; Frenchman Maxime Thomas is the top seed.
Top spot reserved
Conversely, Can Ningning reserves the top spot in class 4, Yan Shuo in class 7 and Lian Hao in class 10.
All three may well face opponents aiming for higher finishes than last year. China’s Zhan Dashun, silver medallist, is once again on duty in class 5, as is silver medallist in class 7, colleague Liao Keli, he is the no.3 seed. In class 10 Ma Shubo and Kong Weijie, also from China, appear on the entry list; neither seeded, in 2018 Ma Shubo won silver, Kong Weijie silver.
Similarly, in the women’s singles competition Xue Juan, Zhou Ying, Zhang Bian and Mao Jingdian all occupy top seeded positions.
Xue Juan heads the order in class 3, compatriot Li Qian, the player she beat in last year’s final, being the no.2 seed. Likewise Zhou Ying leads the list in class 5, compatriot Gu Xiaodan, the player she overcame in last year’s title decider, is also on duty but not seeded. Zhang Miao, bronze medallist in 2018 is the no.2 seed.
Turning the tables
Intriguing times ahead, it could well prove the same for Mao Jingdian in class 8; also on duty but not seeded is Poland’s Dayana Jastrzebska, last year’s bronze medallist. Notably, for Karolina Pek, it is somewhat a situation of turning the tables. In 2018 she beat China’s Xiong Guiyan in the final to win class 9; in 2019 Xiong Guiyan is the top seed, Karolina Pek is the no.2 seed.
Second seeded but reigning champions, as with Karolina Pek, it is the same with Fan Lei; in class 10, she is next in line to Brazil’s Bruna Alexandre. Bronze medallists just over one year ago, China’s Hou Chunxaio and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Tzu-Yu both appear on the entry list.
Seeking better fortunes
Aiming for repeat success; there are those seeking better fortunes. In the men’s singles events, runners up in 2018, the host country’s Feng Panfeng in class 3 and Zhao Shuai in class 8 as well as Korea Republic’s Kim Gitae in class 11, occupy top seeds spots.
Somewhat similarly, bronze medal winner Koyo Iwabuchi and China’s Huang Jiaxin all occupy prominent positions, Koyo Iwabuchi is the top seed in class 9, Huang Jiaxin the no.2 seed in class 6, behind Korea Republic’s Park Hongkyu. Significantly, China’s Peng Weinan, bronze medallist last year in class 8 is also named on the entry list as is Japan’s Koya Kato, the class 11 runner up.
A high level of competition anticipated, it is no different in the women’s singles events.
Runner up last year in class 1-2, China’s Liu Jing is the no.2 seed, being next in line to Korea Republic’s Seo Suyeon. In class 7, also from China, the 2018 runner up, Wang Rui is the top seed in class 6; in class 11, last year’s silver medallist, Sayuri Mio is the no.2 seed, colleague Maki Ito being the top seed.
Also, in a similar manner, in class 6, listed behind Great Britain’s Felicity Pickard, bronze medallist last year, Poland’s Katarzyna Marszal is the no.2 seed.
World ranking points
Intense competition and valuable world ranking points at stake; on the world rankings current next year on Tuesday 31st March, a total of 72 men and 28 women will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
2019 Para China Open: Latest draws and results