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Teenagers Progress in World Ranking

China's WANG Liqin and ZHANG Yining maintain their top positions

China's WANG Liqin and ZHANG Yining maintain their number one positions in the respective ITTF Men's and Women's World Ranking Lists issued on Tuesday 4th October 2005.

However, for those players ranked immediately below there are changes, the most noticeable being in the women's list.

WANG Nan and NIU Jianfeng both descend the Women's World Ranking Lists with the former falling from the No.3 spot to No.8, whilst NIU Jianfeng, who was in the No.2 position in September, is now ranked No.4; neither player competed in the recent ITTF Pro Tour events in September and, as a result, their rankings have suffered.

Next Generation
The two players have played crucial roles in the success of the Chinese national team in recent years and just as they have dropped a few places down the ranking list so the next generation of Chinese female players are moving in the opposite direction.

Seventeen year old GUO Yue, who was in splendid form on the ITTF Pro Tour in September 2005, moves to No.2 whilst CHANG Chenchen, the runner up to GUO Yue at the Panasonic China Open in Harbin progresses from No.57 to No.36.

Similarly, LI Xiaoxia, the winner of the Women's Singles title at the Volkswagen Open China moves up the rankings, formerly at No.21 she is now at No.14 whilst LIU Shiwen, the winner of the Cadet Girls' Singles title at the ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Madeira in 2004, progresses from No.92 to No.44. LIU Shiwen competed in both the Volkswagen Open China and the Volkswagen Open Japan; in both tournaments she came successfully through the qualification stage of the Women's Singles before losing the Singapore's WANG Yue Gu in the former and Korea's KIM Kyung Ah in the latter, both players with a wealth of experience.

Progress for LIU Shiwen and also for North Korea's HAN Hye Song, the winner of the Under 21 Women's Singles event at the Panasonic China Open in Harbin and the runner up in Shenzhen one week later; she moves from No.118 to No.65. She is an attacking left hander who with reversed rubber on the forehand and medium length pimples on the backhand caused her adversaries a host of problems in both Harbin and Shenzhen.

In the ITTF Women's World Ranking list it is the Chinese teenagers who make notable progress; in the Men's Ranking list is also a Chinese teenager who catches the eye. Sixteen year old MA Long, who at the Volkswagen Open China beat Timo BOLL and Michael MAZE and one week later accounted for Werner SCHLAGER at the Volkswagen Open Japan, moves from No.29 to No.51.

The young man who won the Junior Boys' Singles title at the ITTF World Junior Championships in December 2004 has now most certainly announced his arrival on the senior scene.

Progress for MA Long and also for a more experienced member of the Chinese national team, LIU Guozheng; he moves from No.17 to No.10. However, for his colleague, MA Lin, he drops one spot and changes places with the Germany's Timo BOLL, the winner of the Men's Singles title at the Volkswagen Open Japan. Timo BOLL is now at number two whilst MA Lin is at number three.

A move up the ITTF Men's World Ranking list for Timo BOLL and also for two other European players; Patrick CHILA of Frances progresses from No.43 to No.35 whilst Zoran PRIMORAC, the victor over WANG Liqin at the Volkswagen Open Japan, moves from No.36 to No.24.

Hong Kong
An upward movement for two of Europe's stars and also for two of Hong Kong's players who excelled at the Asian Championships in early September; LIN Ling, the winner of the Women's Singles moves from No.15 to No.10 whilst LI Ching, the runner up in the Men's Singles progresses from No.32 to No.25.

In the Under 21 Men's Rankings, CHEN Qi retains the number spot ahead of Korea's LEE Jung Woo who, on the Men's Rankings has progressed from No.32 to No.25 whilst on the Under 18 Boys' Rankings, MA Long moves from No.3 to No.1 with Japan's Jun MIZUTANI at No.2 and Korea's LEE Jin Kwon at No.3.

Meanwhile, the top three places on the Under 21 Women's Rankings and Under 18 Girls Rankings are both the same, with the Chinese teenagers GUO Yue, LI Xiaoxia and CAO Zhen occupying the top three spots. In the Under 21 Women's list another Chinese player, FAN Ying, is at No.4 whilst in the Under 18 Girls Ranking the fourth place is occupied by Japan's Ai FUKUHARA.

Download Ranking List

Source: ITTF

Image: Timo BOLL, en route to victory at the Volkwagen Open Japan, has moved up to No.2 on the ITTF Menís World Ranking list for October 2005 (Photo: Monthly Table Tennis World)

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