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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2017, 09:57 
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Japanese sensation Miu HIRANO has made history in Wuxi, China to become the first non-Chinese winner of the ITTF-Asian Championships since 1996.

The 2016 Women’s World Cup Champion, who only celebrated her 17th birthday yesterday with a historic victory over reigning World and Olympic Champion DING Ning, continued to storm her way to Gold, upsetting World Champions ZHU Yuling and CHEN Meng both 3-0 in the semifinals and final respectively.
With the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships less than 2 months away, HIRANO has proved her determination and capabilities to overcome Chinese dominance in international table tennis, sweeping three top Chinese stars along the way to win the historic Gold.

After winning 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-7) in the final showdown against CHEN, the 2016 ITTF Breakthrough Star stated “I’m very happy and surprised with the victory. I have never thought that I could defeat the Chinese players, let alone upsetting three in a row. Previously against DING Ning, I have never won, not even a game off her. This time in Wuxi, my strategies are thorough, and I came with a good mindset to challenge my opponents and just fight my way through.”
“The Chinese have great skills and techniques, this competition made me feel that the difference between our level have narrowed, and I will work harder to make the difference even smaller between us. Since I could win the title here at the Asian Championships, I hope to continue my good form and performance into the World Championships for the title in Dusseldorf.”

HIRANO’s win rang the alarm bells for the Chinese who has dominated Chinese Women’s Team Head Coach KONG Linghui shared “It’s a normal score in the final, HIRANO was dominating the entire match over CHEN Meng, and her techniques are indeed more advanced than ours.”
“CHEN Meng had difficulties receiving her serves and did not have any advantage in her first three strokes. We will definitely have to study HIRANO’s strengths during our closed training for the Championships. Three consecutive victories against our top players has proven her capabilities.”
In an all-Chinese Men’s Doubles final, defending Champion FAN Zhendong partnered with LIN Gaoyuan to claim the crown, defeating compatriots FANG Bo & ZHOU Yu in four games (5-11, 11-6, 117, 11-6).

The Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships continues tomorrow with the Men’s Singles as well as the Women’s Doubles Gold medal matches on 16 April 2017.

Video of the final point:

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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2017, 13:53 
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I watched the games she played with Ding Ning.

She is very fast movement & attack, and could switch attacking direction quickly. I think if Ding Ning was younger/ mobile enough, Ding may not lose the game.

What do you think?

Hirano is only 17, the next ten year, could Japan take over China in table tennis?

(Actually, I would love to see more Jpen holder could get into top level of the games, rather than all be dominated by handshakers)

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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2017, 17:00 
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She played marvelous! So calm and furious at the same time, very impressive. She beat 3 of 4 top Chinese players on her way to gold.

Also, in the same competition, Korean player Jeoung beat Ma Long and many other top players without being seeded. And Koki Niwa beat Xu Xin. Then Jeoung and Koki had to meet in semis (just a few minutes ago, won't spoil). The winner will face the winner of Fan and Zhang. A very interesting tournament to follow I have to say!

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 13:49 
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I heard Ma Long was blaming the new balls.
That begs the question, how much would type of balls affect the way u play?

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 16:21 
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So what balls WERE they using? The new D40+?

By the way:



Pretty brutal.. :lol: Poor Xu Xin. Who got the other mens' ticket?

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 16:48 
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Xu Xin's days have been numbered since he failed to adapt to using the RPB exclusively or more aggressively like Wang Hao. Even Ma Lin and Liu Guoliang's RPBs were top-notch compared to how Xu Xin was using the RPB.

XX had exceptional movement and reach and he can still impart huge spin to the ball, but it has become a retrieval game for him unable to maintain pace with all the youngsters cropping up.

XX relied too much on his leftie C-pen combo to confuse his opponents. Its not going to work now that he is slowing down and the rest of the players are speeding up.

XX has to get his mojo back. Either increasing the effectiveness of his RPB, or upping his serve/3rd attack/5th attack combos with very quirky a la He Zhi Wen style serves and finishing.


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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 17:18 
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Interesting. Had a look on ITTV for the videos of the Asian Championships, didn't find any. Where are they? I did find some on YouTube but those aren't full match videos.

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 17:35 
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OK, full match here (looks like it came off Chinese network TV, with Chinese narration).



Official ITTF highlights clip:



Wow.. she hits everything off the bounce, at full speed. Kinda what you'd expect a short pips player to do. Who else did she play to get to the finals? Have to go look.

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 18:21 
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Unbelievable attacking and reflexes straight of the bounce by Hirano :up: :up: :up: The Chinese were struggling to cope with her speed and power.


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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 18:34 
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Hirano is very fast in movement, and switch attacking direction quickly to 2 extreme table edges (accurately on the white line),

Her serve and spin should be very strong, in the YouTube, heard Ding Ning told the coach "the spin is heavy..."

It will be interesting landscape in 2020, will not be dominated by China, Japan and South Korea are coming up...

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Last edited by Pingpong Buddha on 17 Apr 2017, 20:40, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 18:40 
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According to the data it is Nittaku providing the balls. Looking at the games the ball indeed seems to be quite hard and not that much sensitive for inducing spin.

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 19:15 
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Apparently she went through Zhu Yuling and Ding Ning to get to the finals, but I can't find any videos of the early round matches (I wonder if she had to play any of the North Korean choppers). Just remembering back to the WTTC, Zhu Yuling won in a very imperious manner back then. Wonder what would have happened if Japan had Miu-chan on the team.

vs. Zhu Yuling (this one's quite entertaining to watch).



vs. Ding Ning (haven't watched this yet):



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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 20:38 
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Wow. The Ding Ning match turned out to be the most nerve-wracking of the lot. Definitely a must watch. That video I embedded has unedited CCTV footage, including the pre-game, the coin toss (the umpire made Miu-chan turn around - probably wanted to see if the number was pinned correctly), the warmup, the awful music they played during times-out, a long talking-heads analysis of what went wrong (I suppose.. it was all in Mandarin), what happened after the match (Miu-chan collapsed on the ground in front of the coach, the other team members came down to congratulate her), and then 20 minutes of the next match (Liu Shiwen vs. a North Korean).

Initially I didn't recognize Ding Ning - she's grown out her hair and pinned it back (I'm not used to seeing her forehead). She's got a HUGE (and noisy) fan club. She was ahead most of the match, she won the first 11-3 or something like that, and was 5-0 in the second. Three of the five games went to deuce, one to 15. The last three games had Miu-chan down by quite a bit, and in two of those Ding Ning reached 10 points first. Ding Ning's signature reverse tomahawk didn't come out until the second game, and the first time it did it seemed to cause utter confusion at the other end. After that initial shock, it didn't seem to be that much of a problem, it usually got attacked. Miu-chan used a lot of fast serves, some of these caught Ding Ning off-guard. At the end of the fourth game, Ding Ning looked pretty stressed when speaking with the coach, though she led most of the third and the fourth, and came out with a fairly big early lead in the fifth. Miu-chan, for some reason, was perusing some papers in a red folder just before the fifth match. Not a match of spectacular shots, but a real nail-biting one, full of extreme angled drives, missed shots and net cord strikes. Probably would have been worse if I hadn't known the outcome already.

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 20:54 
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The red folder, I guess, is Hirano's notes. She must have studied Ding Ning's style and have prepared some strategies on her playing styles and weakness.

I note she always hit two sides on the white lines at the same spots, she must have been practicing for long time.

At the 5th game with Ding Ning, Ding is frustrated, she told the coach Hirano is on the side of luck, every her net ball are on the table.

(It seems to me Ding is tired, she has been sick for some time, and just recovered. Though she lose the games, she already did a good job.)

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 21:24 
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By the way, this is what Ding Ning used to look like.

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I had to do a web search to find photos to convince myself that that really was her in the video.. :lol:

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