After the international table tennis tournament is determined to restart in China in November this year, the ITTF recently announced the invitation lists for two of the major tournaments-the Men’s Table Tennis World Cup and the Women’s Table Tennis World Cup. The Chinese team Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Liu Shiwen, and Zhu Yuling were invited. This list was questioned: why Chen Meng, who ranked first in the women’s world, and Sun Yingsha, who ranked third in the women’s world, were not eligible to participate. In fact, this is the initial list of entries and may change in the future.
In Budapest last year, Chen Meng lost to Liu Shiwen in the women’s singles final of the World Table Tennis Championships and won the runner-up. Only the champion of the World Table Tennis Championships can be invited to participate in the World Cup. Therefore, Liu Shiwen won a place, while Chen Meng missed it. Another place for the national table tennis women’s team belongs to Zhu Yuling because she won the women’s singles championship in the Asian Cup last year and qualified for the 2020 Asian Cup as the defending champion. The World Cup first invites to qualify for the Asian Cup and ranks higher in it. Chen Meng lost to Zhu Yuling in the women’s singles final of the Asian Cup last year-runners-up in two key matches in 2019 made Chen Meng miss the chance to compete in the World Cup twice, even though he is now ranked first in the world.
Sun Yingsha was not invited because of the change of rules. In the past, the invitation rule for the Asian Cup was to first consider the defending champion and last year’s Asian Championship. Therefore, Zhu Yuling and the 2019 Asian Championship women’s singles champion Sun Yingsha will qualify for the 2020 Asian Cup. Although the 2020 Asian Cup was not held due to the epidemic, Sun Yingsha should be eligible for the World Cup because she is ranked higher in the world than Zhu Yuling. However, the Asian Table Tennis Federation announced at the beginning of the year that it would include the latest World Championship champion on the invitation list. As a result, Ma Long and Liu Shiwen qualified for the competition, while Xu Xin and Sun Yingsha, who won the Asian Championships, missed the World Cup. In fact, Malone and Liu Shiwen could have been directly qualified for the World Cup with the title of World Championship champions.
However, Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha may still participate. At present, the recovery of Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling’s injuries is not clear. Liu Shiwen injured her elbow and underwent surgery. It is difficult to determine whether she can catch up with the World Cup. She has already qualified for the Olympics next year. In order to ensure that she is foolproof, it is very possible not to risk participating in the World Cup. Zhu Yuling had a sudden immune system illness before the Tokyo Olympic simulation game in August, and her recovery has not been disclosed.
If the two cannot compete, Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha have a chance. Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha participated in the competition, there is another advantage for the national table tennis: to stop Mima Ito in points. Japanese star Mima Ito ranked second in the world, between Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha. Since the world ranking is crucial to the seed ranking of next year’s Olympics, if Sun Yingsha can defeat her opponent in a direct confrontation, she may even overtake Mima Ito.