by Simon Daish
Bernadette Szocs embraces power of technology
Technology can be a wonderful asset in everyday life and that includes sport too, especially during these unprecedented times. One such example was evident in Weihai.
Romania’s Bernadette Szocs travelled without her coach but was still able to receive advice at the event through the power of technology, taking in her coach’s tactical analysis via video call. Talk about an innovative compromise!
Mima Ito’s dazzling new service style
Securing her first ITTF Women’s World Cup medal, Mima Ito caught our attention for another reason with the Japanese competitor debuting a brand-new service technique.
Holding the ball flat in the palm of her left hand as per expectation, Ito arches her right arm over and around the ball before swinging her playing arm back again to begin the service motion. A fascinating new approach to the service game and even her semi-final opponent Sun Yingsha highlighted its effectiveness:
“Mima’s serves are indeed special and have the most spin in the women’s game!” Sun Yingsha
Defensive game is alive and well
A common sight 20-30 years back, the art of defence has become less common over the past decade in particular with more and more upcoming talents opting to stay on the front foot. However, we were all treated to some excellent defensive displays in Weihai with Germany’s Han Ying showing the advantages to great effect.
Standing opposite some of the sport’s finest attacking players, Han put on a spectacular show match after match and was fully deserving of her top four finish. Do yourself a favour and re-live some excellent defensive magic courtesy of the German:
Players paying respect to safety guidelines
The first event as part of the #RESTART series, the Women’s World Cup was also the first glimpse of international action we have seen since the international play was halted in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Following the safety guidelines put in place in advance of play, the competitors showed their respect for their fellow colleagues and match officials. Respecting social distancing measures, players also swapped out the traditional post-match handshake for bowing, fist/elbow bumps and racket tapping.