Lion 32nd ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Yokohama 2019
Friday 5th – Sunday 7th April
Record breakers Zhu Yuling and Kazumi Ishikawa
The seed, Zhu Yuling, won the women’s title at the Lion 32nd ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Yokohama 2019 on Sunday 7th April; in an all Chinese final , the top seed, she beat Cheng Meng, the no.2 seed, in six games (15-13, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8) to seal the title.
Both Zhu Yuling and Cheng Meng qualify for the Women’s World Cup to be staged later in the year as does the host nation’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed; in the bronze medal contest she accounted for Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.6 seed (12-10, 14-12, 15-17, 17-15, 11-8).
Thus for the first time in the history of the tournament since first staged in 1984 in Wuxi when the Chinese trio of Cao Yanhua, Tong Ling and Jiao Zhimin occupied the top three respective places, the top three places were exactly the same as the previous year.
One year ago when the tournament had also been staged in Yokohama, Zhu Yuling had beaten Chen Meng in the final (12-10, 12-10, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4), Kasumi Ishikawa had secured bronze at the expense of Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching (11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7).
Furthermore, Zhu Yuling became the first player to win the title on three consecutive occasions, thus surpassing the records of colleague Guo Yue and Liu Shiwen who had each won two in a row. Guo Yue won in 2008 in Sapporo and in 2009 in Hangzhou; Liu Shiwen in 2012 in Guangzhou and in 2013 in Hong Kong.
Three wins put Zhu Yuling in second place on the all-time list; she is now just one win behind Liu Shiwen who has four such titles to her credit. In addition to 2012 and 2013, she won in 2010 in Guangzhou and in 2016 in Dubai. No other player has won the women’s title at the Asiab Cup more than three times.
Record set, Kasumi Ishikawa who had lost to Feng Tianwei two days earlier in the group stage (13-11, 11-7, 11-7) was not to be left out; for the third successive year she finished in third place, a feat no other player has achieved. Moreover, it is third place for an unprecedented fifth time; additional to last year in Yokohama and 2017 in Ahmedabad, she was the bronze medallist in 2007 in Hanoi and in 2013. Thus she becomes the player to win the bronze medal in the women’s events at the Asian Cup more times than any other player.
She surpasses the record of Hong Kong’s Chai Po Wa who finished in third place in 1988 and 1991 in Manila, in 1989 in Beijing and in 1996 in New Delhi.