(by Steve Hopkins)
China’s grip on the top of the rankings was strengthened this week and Liang Jinkun moved into third position – behind No. 1 Fan Zhendong and No. 2 Ma Long. Jinkun jumped over Hugo Calderano who is now in fourth. The real news starts with No. 5, where Truls Moregard has moved up 10 places to claim that fifth position, and where Darko Jorgic has moved up five positions to the No. 6 spot.
Harimoto, Lin Yun-Ju, Ovtcharov and Aruna round out the Top 10. Boll and Franziska are now in the 11 and 12 positions.
If there were World Championship Teams seedings today, Sweden and Germany would basically be tied for second. Sweden has World No. 5, 15, and 16 (Moregard/Karlsson/Kallberg) and Mattias Falck would be in reserve at World No. 21 after not playing much recently. Germany would have World No. 9, 11, and 12 (Ovtcharov, Boll, Franziska) with Dang Qiu in reserve at No. 14. Korea would likely be seeded fourth – though with Harimoto at World No. 7 and Yukiya Uda moving up the rankings (now No. 27), you can expect to see Japan back near the top soon.
USA’s Kanak Jha moved up to slots to No. 30. Kai Zhang (No.172) and Nikhil Kumar (No. 174) are the next two TeamUSA players in the rankings. Puerto Rico’s top player is Brian Afanador – up five spots to No. 60. Jeremy Hazin leads Canada with his No. 128 ranking.
On the women’s side, China holds the top four spots. Chen, Sun, Wang Manyu, and Wang Yidi all remain in very strong positions with two Japanese players Ito and Hayata on their heels (at No. 5 and No. 6). The top European player is Germany’s Ying Han at No. 8, and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz is now ranked No. 9.
USA’s Lily Zhang is down 11 spots to No. 49. USA’s Juan Liu made a jump of 157 spots to get up to No. 84, which was almost as impressive as USA’s Sarah Jalli jumping 356 spots all the way up to No. 125. With WTT Feeder events planned in the US, including one at Table Tennis America in Fremont California this week, expect to see more movement from North American players in the rankings soon.
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