A Look at the ITTF Rankings as the Olympics Approach - Butterfly Table Tennis
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HARIMOTO, Tomokazu

A Look at the ITTF Rankings as the Olympics Approach

(by Steve Hopkins)

The ITTF Rankings take on more meaning as we are now 23 away from Preliminary Singles rounds at the Olympics (and one month away from the first Team matches).

In the most recent ITTF Weekly Rankings there was some shuffling near the bottom of the Top 10.  Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Timo Boll both moves up a space (to 8 and 10, respectively) and Mattias Falck dropped a space to No. 9 and Liang Jingkun dropped a space to No. 11.  USA’s top player remains Kanak Jha (World No. 30) with the rest of our team – Nikhil Kumar (ranked in the 170s) and Zhou Xin.

With an eye on the Olympics, it will be Fan and Xu as the top two seeds in singles, followed by Harimoto, Lin Yun-Ju, Calderano, Ovtcharov, Falck, and Boll.  On the team side, the Chinese will be in a dominant position (World Nos. 1, 2, 3) but favorites will be less clear among the other medal contenders.  How teams will matchup should be very interesting as Japan will have Nos. 4, 17, and 18, Germany will have Nos. 8, 10, 16, Korea will have Nos 12, 13, 22, Sweden will have Nos. 9, 26, 42.

The only major change in the Women’s Rankings was Petrissa Solja moving up four spots (to No. 16). This is significant because she is now the top ranked player from outside of Asia, and at the Olympics (where only two players can compete from each country) this will move her inside the Top 10.   Lily Zhang is the top US player at No. 31, and Jennifer Wu is ranked No. 34, and Amy Wang is No. 129.

Women’s team seedings will be China first and Japan second with Taipei (Nos. 8, 26, 57), Korea (Nos. 14, 20, 64), and Germany (16, 22, 33) also favorites to be in contention for medals.

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