by Ian Marshall, Editor
On the women’s singles standings for places in the end of year Grand Finals in Zhengzhou, she is listed at no.12 (414 points); it is the last place that currently guarantees qualification for the prestigious end of year event. The four remaining places will be decided in Linz.
Likewise seeded in Linz, also from China Liu Shiwen and Chen Xingtong are assured places in the Grand Finals as are Japan’s Mima Ito, Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano, alongside Singapore’s Feng Tianwei.
However, for other leading names, the future is in the balance. China’s He Zhuojia, Japan’s Hitomi Sato, Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching and Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee are very much charges of their own destiny. On the standings, He Zhoujia is at no.13 (338 points), followed immediately by Hitomi Sato (337 points), Cheng I-Ching (295 points) and Jeon Jihee (292 points). They are the names that conclude the current top 16 places.
In Linz, Cheng I-Ching is the no.6 seed, He Zhuojia, the no.11 seed, Hitomi Sato, the no.14 seed and Jeon Jihee, the no.15 seed. All could be safe, for the chasing pack it will take a major effort; in fact to have any realistic hopes of qualifying for the Grand Finals, a semi-final finish may be needed.
The no.7 seed in Linz, Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem is named on the standings at no.18 (198 points), Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon, the no.10 seed, at no.20 (197 points), alongside Japan’s Saki Shibata who must compete in the qualification tournament.
Similarly, the host nation’s Sofia Polcanova, the no.12 seed and Romania’s Bernadette Szocs face daunting tasks if qualification is the be the outcome. On the standings Sofa Polcanova is named at no.22 (178 points), Bernadette Szocs at no.25 (163 points).
It is only marginally different for China’s Gu Yuting, required play in the preliminary stages in Linz, the door for the Grand Finals is still just open; she is named on the standings at no.17 (199 points).
Meanwhile on the women’s doubles standing, the top seeds, Japan’s Miyuu Kihara and Miyuu Nagasaki are well set for a place in the Grand Finals, as are the no.3 seeds, the combination of Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova. It is very much the same for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tu, the no.6 seeds.
Presently on the women’s doubles standings, in terms of eligibility for the Grand Finals, Miyuu Kihara and Miyuu Nagasaki occupy the no.3 spot (439 points), Barbora Balazova and Hana Matelova, the no.6 position (209 points); Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tu, the no.4 berth (289 points).
However, looking over their shoulder, Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the no.2 seeds in Linz stand at no.7 (182 points), one place ahead of colleagues, Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam (157 points), the no.4 seeds in Linz. Just below the line, required to compete in the qualification tournament in Austria, Singapore’s Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu reserve the no.9 spot (101 points) on the standings; Poland’s Natalia Bajor and Natalia Partyka reserve the no.11 place (95 points).
One pair only
Final places to be determined, it is the same in the mixed doubles; an event in which a national association is eligible for only one pair in the Grand Finals.
Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, the top seeds, are most certainly bound for the Grand Finals, as are Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito alongside the Chinese Taipei pairing of Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching. Likewise Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee are well set. They occupy the top four seeded positions. Moreover, on the standings in real terms they comprise four of the top five pairs; the one other pairing is China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen not present in Linz.
Equally, on duty in Austria, Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova, the no.7 seeds, are in a strong position; they are named in an effective no.6 spot (240 points) on standings. However, for the remaining places, life is in the balance, the French pairing of Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier share the no.7 spot (233 points) alongside Hungary’s Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel.
Similarly, present in Linz, the host nation’s Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova reserve the no.9 position (201 points) one place ahead of Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs (152 points).
Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier, Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel in addition to Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs must all compete in the qualification tournament in Linz.