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Tenacious, Chuang Chih-Yuan continues to set standard

Tenacious, Chuang Chih-Yuan continues to set standard

(by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor)
Tenacious, Chuang Chih-Yuan continues to set standard
A member of the Chinese Taipei national team since 1998; one year later in Eindhoven a first appearance at a World Championships when for the very first time only individual events were staged, once again the name of Chuang Chih-Yuan appears on the entry list for an international open tournament.

Listed behind China’s Fan Zhendong and Frenchman Simon Gauzy, he is the no.3 seed in the Men’s Singles event at the forthcoming Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open. Staged in Budapest, play commences on Thursday 18th January being preceded by two days of qualification.

In the Hungarian capital city, in the Men’s Singles event, he lines up alongside colleagues Chen Chien-An, Liao Cheng-Ting, Sun Chia-Hung and Lin Yun-Ju.

Winner of the Boys’ Singles title just under a decade ago at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Madrid, Chen Chien-An is now 26 years old, Liao Cheng-Ting and Sun Chia-Hung are both 21 years of age whilst Lin Yun-Ju is only 16 years old. Chuang Chih-Yuan is the team captain; he sets the example.

Nowadays, no doubt in Chinese Taipei, there is a host of younger players who want to play like Chuang Chih-Yuan; his colleagues who are competing in the Hungarian capital city are not too dissimilar in style.

It was very different for Chuang Chih-Yuan. He started to play in 1989, when eight years old; it was an age of change. The pen-hold grip style of play favoured in Asia was more and more giving second best to powerful European shake-hands grip style; to break with tradition and with a style that had served the continent so well was a great wrench.

Chuang Chih-Yuan was very much at the vanguard of a new era; now the shake-hands grip is the norm but you cannot judge history by what came later, only by what went before. Chuang Chih-Yuan had to break with tradition; as he progressed to gain a place in the national team, the leading name in Chinese Taipei was Chiang Peng-Lung.

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