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Olympic Games: Cheng Hsien-Tzu, the new name

Tuesday 13 July

A new name in the women’s line-up for Chinese Taipei in the Olympic arena; Cheng Hsien-Tzu is the player in question, in Tokyo, the 28 year old joins Cheng I-Ching and Chen Szu-Yu in the women’s team selection.

Play in the team events commence on Saturday 1st August.

Cheng Hsien-Tzu very much replaces Huang Yi-Hua; notably she competed in four consecutive Olympic Games. In Athens in 2004 she was on duty in the women’s singles event and with Lu Yun-Feng in the women’s doubles.

Later, alongside Pan Li-Chun she was on women’s singles duty in Beijing and four years later in 2012 in London with Chen Szu-Yu.

Neither in Beijing nor London did Chinese Taipei qualify for the women’s team competition; in Rio de Janeiro, they achieved the feat. Cheng I-Ching and Chen Szu-Yu were present in both the women’s singles and women’s team competitions, Huang Yi-Hua only in the latter.

It is since the Rio 2016 Olympic Games that Cheng Hsien-Tzu has made her mark; the results may not be sensational, but they suggest a player who can be trusted to provide a reliable performance.

At the Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf, she reached the second round of the women’s singles, two years later in Budapest she went one step further.

Meanwhile, at ITTF Challenge Series tournaments, in the women’s singles, she reached the semi-finals in 2017 in Slovenia and in 2019 in Portugal.

Equally, Cheng Hsien-Tzu has proved a most valuable women’s doubles partner for Chen Szu-Yu; a facet that could well prove invaluable in Tokyo.

On the ITTF World Tour in 2019, they were semi-finalists in Japan and the Czech Republic, the runners up in Austria, before at the Agricultural Bank of China Grand Finals in Zhengzhou, also reaching the penultimate round.

Approaching five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, for Chinese Taipei, it was an opening round 3-1 defeat in the women’s team event, in Tokyo the ever improving Cheng Hsien-Tzu has a vital role to play.

Improving step by step, can she climb another step, if so, can Chinese Taipei reach a medal round?

Editor: Ian Marshall 

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