European Games Title, Source of Motivation, New Lease of Life for Li Jiao
2015 ITTF World Tour, Japan Open (Super)
Courtesy of ITTF
A place in the main draw at stake, the leading ladies in the concluding qualification round of the Women’s Singles event at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Japan Open in Kobe, all emerged successful on Thursday June 25th, with one player in particular seemingly having a new lease of life following recent success.
Now 42 years old, at the TMS 2014 European Team Championships in the Portuguese city of Lisbon last December, Li Jiao of the Netherlands played just one match; in the opening group stage contest she was beaten by Dora Madarasz in the three-one defeat against Hungary.
She took no further part; she focused her attentions on being the coach for the Men’s Team, a position which is very much her current role.
However, the 2015 European Games provided a source of motivation; she prepared; she led the Netherlands to silver in the Women’s Team event and then on the final day of proceedings won Women’s Singles gold.
Now in Kobe that good form has been maintained, she accounted for Korea’s Yoo Eunching in six games (11-7, 11-5, 11-8, 4-11, 1-11, 14-12) to reserve her place in the second stage of proceedings.
Starting from Zero
Furthermore, she is looking forward with eager eyes to one year hence.
“Last week I was very happy to win the European Games gold and qualify for the Olympic Games”, said Li Jiao. “Now I have to start from zero to qualify for the Japan Open; I am a little tired in my mind, I found it very hard to move today.”
Tired it has been a busy time but Li Jiao has vast experience and her left handed pen-hold grip style is almost unique on the international scene. Service, first attack, creating angles, they are the areas where she excels.
It is a four hour time difference from here to Baku, so I am a bit jet-lagged, it was a long trip, so I have found it hard to recover”, continued Li Jiao. “I am now in the main draw so I can rest and relax to get ready for tomorrow.”
Success for Li Jiao and there were also successes from the most prominent names to determine the list of the players who will join the 16 seeds in an opening round of 32 players.
Notably in addition to Li Jiao, China’s Liu Fei, Korea’s Jeon Jihee, Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun and Lee Ho Ching, in addition and Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, all booked main draw places.
Likewise, Germany’s Shan Xiaona, Japan’s Miu Hirano and Turkey’s Hu Melek all advanced as status predicted.
The main draw in the Women’ Singles event commences on Friday June 26th.
Matches from June 25, 2015
- Men’s Singles: Preliminary Rounds – Main Draw
- Women’s Singles: Preliminary Rounds – Main Draw
- Men’s Doubles: Preliminary Rounds – Main Draw
- Women’s Doubles: Preliminary Rounds – Main Draw
- U-21 Men’s Singles: Final – YOSHIDA Masaki (JPN) vs OSHIMA Yuya (JPN)
- U-21 Women’s Singles: Final – ZENG Jian (SIN) vs SATO Hitomi (JPN)
Visit ITTF.com for more coverage of the 2015 Japan Open.