Zhu Yuling, point to prove
Gold medallist in Ahmedabad in 2017, last year the title defended successfully in Yokohama; China’s Zhu Yuling returns to the Japanese city, her goal to make it three in a row and thus become the first player to achieve the feat in the tournament which started life in 1983 and witnessed success for her compatriot, Cao Yanhua.
Zhu Yuling heads the list in the women’s event at the forthcoming Lion 32nd ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Yokohama 2019, play commencing on Friday 5th April.
Liu Shiwen, not present this year, is the most successful player in the history of the tournament. She won four times succeeding in 2010 and 2012 in Guangzhou before retaining the title in 2013 in Hong Kong and then succeeding in 2016 in Dubai.
Consecutive wins for Liu Shiwen, it is the same for colleague, Guo Yue, she won in 2008 in Sapporo and in 2009 in Hangzhou; other than Zhu Yuling they are the only players to have retained the title. Significantly no player has ever won three times in a row.
It is undoubtedly a source of motivation for Zhu Yuling and surely there is another source; she has a point to prove. At the recent Marvellous 12 held in Shenzhen, she finished in sixth place; notably, even though the runner up two years ago in Düsseldorf, she has not been selected for the women’s singles event at the forthcoming Liebherr 2019 World Championships to be staged in April in Budapest.
Rather differently, the silver and bronze medallists from last year are both Budapest bound. Colleague, Chen Meng, beaten by Zhu Yuling, appears on the Yokohama entry list as does Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, who one year ago reserved the third step of the podium by overcoming Chinese Tapei’s Cheng I-Ching.
Miu Hirano, having won the women’s singles title at the Seamaster 2017 Asian Championships in Wuxi is the one further host nation representative; for Chinese Taipei, Chen Szu-Yu lines up alongside Cheng I-Ching.
A national association is limited to two entrants.
Confirmed entries – women