2015 World Table Tennis Championships Doubles Seeding
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Doubles Seeding Announced for QOROS 2015 World Championships

Courtesy of ITTF

April 13, 2015 – Success for Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan in Paris two years ago secured the first ever title for Chinese Taipei in the history of the World Championships.

In Suzhou, at the QOROS 2015 World Championships, which start on Sunday April 26th, they are the no.4 seeds, as they commence their defense of the title secured in the French capital city.

The seeded position suggests they are major gold medal contenders but arguably they are not the statistical favorites; that accolade belongs to their colleagues, Chiang Hung-Chieh and Huang Sheng-Sheng, they are the top seeds.

Furthermore, like Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan, they are also World champions; they won in 2005 in the Austrian city of Linz at the World Junior Championships.

Title Retention
Retaining the title, that has been achieved in the past with the record of Hungary’s Victor Barna and Miklos Szabados never likely to be threatened; they won on no less than six occasions as a partnership; four times retaining the crown. Any comparison with that era is unfair; in the era of the Hungarian stars of yesteryear, the event was held annually.

However, no partnership has ever progressed from being a World Junior champions in the Boys’ Doubles, Girls’ Doubles or Mixed Doubles events to achieving the same in the senior version.

Even though the top seeds, it would be a remarkable achievement if Chiang Hung-Chieh and Huang Sheng-Sheng could conclude matters on the top step of the medal podium.

Challenging Opposition
There is challenging opposition; Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira and Koki Niwa are the no.2 seeds, followed by Hong Kong’s Tang Peng and Wong Chun Ting.

Strong opposition and further down the list there arguably even stronger opposition.

China’s Xu Xin and Zhang Jike are no.7 seeds, while the combination of Germany’s Timo Boll and the host nation’s, Ma Long, occupy the no.18 seeded position.

May I suggest the latter duo earn the appellation of dangerous floaters?

European and African Champions on Duty
Also, the reigning European champions, Croatia’s Tan Ruiwu and Poland’s Wang Zeng Yi are in harness, they are no.9 seeds; as also on duty is the combination of Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Makanjuola Kazeem, crowned African champions earlier this year in Cairo.

Notable pairs and one combination that does catch the eye is that of Spain’s He Zhiwen and Carlos Machado, the no.10 seeds. Memorably the won the Men’s Doubles title at the recent GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Spanish Open to create history as He Zhiwen became the youngest ever ITTF World Tour gold medalist.

Approaching his 52 birthday could he become the oldest ever World Champion?

Converse Scenario
Conversely in the Women’s Doubles event could we have the youngest ever?

Japan’s Miu Hirano and Mima Ito, the winners of the Women’s Doubles event at the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, occupy the no.4 seeded position in the competition. They play with no fear.

Similar Situation
Also, similar to Chinese Taipei in the Men’s Doubles event, Japan also occupies the top seed position. Winners of three ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles titles, Ai Fukuhara and Misako Wakamiya lead the list and perhaps they can enter proceedings with a degree of confidence.

In the final of the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Japan Open, they beat Singapore’s Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu. In Suzhou, Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu are the second seeds.

A Possible Four in a Row
Highly rated pairs but as in the Men’s Doubles event, there is strong opposition from China; Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling occupy the no.3 seeded position in the draw; Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia are the no.7 seed.

Arguably, despite the seeding, Ding and Li Xiaoxia start as favorites; furthermore, for Li Xiaoxia it would be an incredible four wins in a row. Partnering Guo Yue, she won in 2009 in Yokohama, the following year in Rotterdam and two years ago in Paris.

Success and she will surpass Romania’s Maria Alexandru who alongside the Chinese duo of Deng Yaping and Zhang Yining, like Li Xiaoxia possess three World Championships Women’s Doubles titles.

Wang Nan
Additionally, she would be in range of her compatriot Wang Nan who won twice with Li Ju and three times with Zhang Yining, five in a row.

However, it is unlikely, Li Xiaoxia or anyone will ever catch Maria Mednyanszky. She won six times in a row with Anna Sipos between 1930 and 1935. Again the comparison is unjust, in the era of the Hungarian duo, the event was held annually and the competition was not as great as in the modern era.

Met at Asian Games
Seeking to repeat the success of Paris in 2013 is the goal for Li Xiaoxia; it is also the goal of DPR Korea’s Kim Hyok Bong and Kim Jong in the Mixed Doubles event.

The winners in France, they are the top seeds in Suzhou and they are no strangers to the second seeds; Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi and Lee Ho Ching are the next on the list; the pair Kim Hyok Bong and Kim Jong beat in the final last October at the 2014 Asian Games.

Korea’s Lee Sangsu and Park Youngsook, the runners up in Paris, occupy the no.3 seeded position with Japan’s Koki Niwa and Sayaka Hirano being the no.4 seeds.

Different Styles Unite
Likewise, as in the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events, the host nation poses a serious challenge.

Xu Xin partners Korea’s Yang Haeun; they are the no.5 seeds with the all Chinese combination of Yan An and Wu Yang being the no.17 seeds.

Could not be a more diverse partnership in terms of style? Yan An attacks from the gun with venom giving his adversaries minimal time to react, maybe the word safety is not in his vocabulary. Wu Yang is the exact opposite, she is as secure and safe as the Great Wall of China, her defensive skills give adversaries plenty of time to ponder the issue and have dilemmas.

They say opposites attract; maybe they will attract in Suzhou.

Download Seeding
QOROS 2015 World Championships: Seeding – Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles & Mixed Doubles Event

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