TOKYO – Japan’s Mima Ito was lucky enough to avoid a potential showdown with China’s highly regarded Chen Meng before reaching the women’s singles final as the Olympic table tennis draw was held here on Wednesday.
The current No. 2 in the world, who is considered the best hope for the hosts’ challenge for an Olympic table tennis medal in singles, is not expected to face strong resistance before the quarter-finals, where her opponent could be Jeon Jihee who is South. -represents Korea.
If Ito makes it to the semi-finals, she could face China’s second-seeded Sun Yingsha, who sits in the same quarter with Singapore veteran Fang Tianwei, Germany’s Han Yang and Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu.
No. 1 Chen Meng, who has yet to win a World Championship title or an Olympic gold medal, will have to beat Germany’s Petrissa Solja to reach the quarter-finals. Kasumi Ishikawa from Japan and Change I-Ching from Chinese Taipei are also in the same half.
In men’s singles, world No. 1 Fan Zhendong is in the same quarter with 2014 European Cup holder Marcos Freitas of Portugal, South Korean Jeoung Youngsik and German veteran Timo Boll, while the top two teens Lin Yun-Ju and Tomokazu Harimoto are also on his half.
Olympic champion Ma Long is in the second half, with Hugo Calderano from Brazil, Jiang Woojin from South Korea, Koki Niwa from Japan, Dimitrij Ovtcharov from Germany, Matters Falck from Sweden, Wong Chen Ting from China’s Hong Kong and Simon Gauzy from France.
For the mixed doubles event, which will make its debut at these Olympics, top-class teams Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen are the favorite podium contenders, and their first round match will be against Wang Zhen/Zhang Mo representing Canada.
Hong Kong’s Wong Chin Ting/Doo Hoi Kem could expect a semi-final match with the Chinese duo, while local favorites Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito are firmly in the other half with their best challenge ahead of the South’s final. -Korean Lee Sangsu/Jeon Jihee.
The Olympic table tennis competitions kick off on Saturday at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, with team events not scheduled to be held until August 1. The defending champion’s Chinese men’s team will face Egypt and their female counterparts will face Austria.
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