2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships
Yogyakarta, Saturday 14th September
Experience vital, in Yogyakarta teenagers hold key
A wise experienced head to lead colleagues, a guiding hand, it is recognised formula in an attempt to gain success but at the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships, which commence in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta on Sunday 15th September, could it be the opposite scenario that proves the crucial element?
Amongst the leading outfits on duty there is no shortage of teenage talent on show.
The name that attracts the attention the most is that of Tomokazu Harimoto who, in the past two years has set a host of new records in juvenility; only 16 years old he leads Japan in the men’s team event. He lines up alongside another teenager in the guise of Yukiya Uda, 18 years of age, the boys’ singles runner up at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Bendigo. The slightly older Maharu Yoshimura, Kazuhiro Yoshimura and Takuya Jin complete the line-up.
In the men’s team event, Japan occupies the no.4 seeded position.
Likewise, in the women’s team competition, Miu Hirano, 19 years old, may well prove pivotal to Japanese success. Notably, in recent years we have become accustomed the Japanese women’s team being littered with teenage talent but in Yogyakarta, the significant names of Mima Ito and Hina Hayata, both like Miu Hirano born in the year 2000, are not present. In fact Miu Hirano is the only teenager in the Japanese women’s selection. She joins forces with Kasumi Ishikawa, Miyu Kato, Saki Shibata and Hitomi Sato; the quintet occupies the no.2 seeded place.
Also, in the women’s team event, 17 year old Chau Wing Sze is included in the Hong Kong team. She is selected alongside Doo Hoi Kem, Lee Ho Ching, Minnie Soo Wai Yam and Zhu Chengzhu. Hong Kong reserves the no.3 seeded spot followed by Korea Republic, DPR Korea and Chinese Taipei. All include a teenager in their squads.
Shin Yubin, 15 years old, is listed in the Korea Republic team alongside Jeon Jihee, Lee Eunhye, Suh Hyowon and Yang Haeun; for DPR Korea, Pyong Song Gyong, 18 years old, appears in harness with Cha Hyo Sim, Kim Jinju, Kim Nam Hae and Kim Song I. Not to be left out, Su Pei-Ling, 19 years of age, is in duty for Chinese Taipei. She joins forces with Chen Szu-Yu, Cheng Hsien-Tzu, Cheng I-Ching and Lin Hsing-Yin.
Meanwhile, in the men’s team event, Wang Chuqin, 19 years old, is a significant name to note. He is a member of the top seeded Chinese team that includes Fan Zhendong, Lin Gaoyuan, Liang Jingkun and Xu Xin. Equally, lower down the list, the name of 17 year old, Amin Ahmadian appears in the Iran team; the remaining members being Nima Alamian, Noshad Alamiyan and Amir Hossein Hodaei. Iran occupies the no.8 seeded position.
Teenagers to the fore but if there is one squad of players where teenagers are most in evidence, it is the Singapore men’s team. The only member of the group not born this century is Ethan Poh Shao Feng. Moreover, he only misses by some eight months; the 20 year old was born in February 1999. Beh Kun Ting and Josh Chua Shao Han are both 18 years of age, Dominic Koh Song Jun and Pang Yew En Koen are each 17 years old.
Singapore occupies the no.6 seeded position in the men’s team event.
Editor: Ian Marshall
Photo Credit: Hideyuki Imai