Asian Cup 2017 Table Tennis Preview
Ahmedabad will play host for 2017 Asian Cup TT from Sep 15 to 17. This is the second time an Indian city is hosting the prestigious event in the space of three years - Jaipur did it in 2015. This time also a strong 16 member team will be in action in both men's and women's singles category.
China is expected to top the podium again as the powerhouse has won 48 of the 58 gold medals throughout the events from the first event in Wuxi,1983.
Men's singles preview
World no. 2 Fan Zhendong is the top seed here and the one to beat. The World Championship silver medalist is expected to defend the gold for his country in the absence of defending champion, Xu Xin. Second seeded Jun Mizutani along with Koki Niwa (4) who is having his best ever year in his career are expected to break Japan's 18 year Gold drought in this category.
Wong Chun Ting (3) is well known among Indian fans after his appearance in Ultimate Table Tennis will try his luck along with his countrymate Ho Kwan Kit for Hong Kong. South Korea's hopes will be carried by Lee Sangsu (5) and Jeong Sangeun (8).
India's stars Achanta Sharath Kamal and the local boy Harmeet Desai are expected to trouble higher ranked players here. Players from Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Iran and Saudi Arabia round off the 16 members squad.
Women's singles preview
Four-time Asian cup champion and the defending champion Liu Shiwen will try to become the first ever player to win five Asian cup titles.On the other side, World no. 3 and the top seed Zhu Yuling will look forward to her maiden Asian Cup title. All the eyes will be on Japan's teenage sensation Miu Hirano as the 17-year-old has been troubling Chinese players lately.
Feng Tianwei will aim to repeat her Indian success as she was the gold medallist two years before in Jaipur. Chinese Taipei's CHENG I-Ching is another potential contender in this category. 21-year-old Doo Hoi Kem who surprised Indian fans by her shot making abilities at UTT will once again try to impress the Indian audience here.ISHIKAWA Kasumi of Japan, LEE Ho Ching of Hong Kong and YU Mengyu of Singapore are the few other star names.
India's hopes will be rested on country's topmost player and today's South zone TT championship winner Manika Batra. 21-year-old Manika will play as 14th seed here.