Success at the first attempt, it is the goal of more than one player at the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games but if there is one player who excels in the art of succeeding on debut, it is Sun Yingsha.
In the Japanese capital city, she lines up in the Chinese women’s team alongside Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen; most significantly, the youngest member of the selection, only 20 years old, she competes in the women’s singles.
Play in the Metropolitan Gymnasium commences on Saturday 24th July.
Born on Monday 4th November 2000 in Shijiazhuang, some two hours by train from Beijing West railway station, the city is very much a hub for the sport of table tennis. It is where players such as Li Huifen and Shen Yanfei honed their skills, as in more recent times did He Zhuojia and Zhang Mo.
In 2014 in Mumbai, Sun Yingsha made her debut at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships, she won the cadet girls’ singles title. One year later, she made her debut on the ITTF World Junior Circuit when she competed in Taicang.
Notable successes but it was in 2017 when only 16 year of age, she made her mark. A first ITTF World Tour appearance, competing in Japan, she won both the women’s singles and partnering Chen Xingtong the women’s doubles titles; a good omen for Sun Yingsha, the tournament was staged Tokyo.
Later in the year, in the Italian resort of Riva del Garda, in her one and only appearance in the World Junior Championships, she won the girls’ singles title. In addition, she won the mixed doubles with Wang Chuqin and was a member of the successful girls’ team.
One year later in 2018, again on debut it was gold in prestigious events; the partnership with Wang Chuqin continued to bear fruit. The pair won mixed doubles gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta. Soon after, following success the respective men’s singles and women’s singles events, they prevailed at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games.
Notably in 2019, on her first World Championships appearance, although experiencing a women’s singles quarter-final defeat when opposing colleague, Wang Manyu, she partnered her colleague to women’s doubles gold.
The conclusion, does yet another first in Tokyo await?
Editor: Ian Marshall