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Table Tennis: Ishikawa calls for support as Japan hosts Women’s World Cup

 

Olympic silver medallist Kasumi Ishikawa will lead local hopes at next month’s Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Japan for the first time. Photos: ITTF.

Olympic silver medallist Kasumi Ishikawa will lead local hopes at next month’s Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Japan for the first time. Photos: ITTF.

August 13, 2013: Kasumi Ishikawa, silver medallist at last year’s Olympics, has called on her compatriots to come out in force to support her as Japan hosts the ITTF Women’s World for the first time next month.

 

Ishikawa, the World No. 10, and wildcard Ai Furuhara are Japan’s only representatives in the 20-player event, which will be held in Kobe from September 21-23.

 

“I am very glad to participate in the Starts Women’s World Cup, especially as it’s being held for the first time in Japan,” said the 20-year-old, who qualified by finishing third at the Asian Cup.

 

“I urge the Japanese public to come to the venue and cheer us on. The more people there will lift my spirits and help me play better.”

 

China’s Li Xiaoxia, who won last year’s Olympics and this year’s ITTF World Championships, is the favourite to clinch gold, which would complete her career grand slam of winning the Olympic, World Championships and World Cup titles in a row.

 

In the first phase of the three-day event, players seeded nine to 20 compete in four groups of three players. The players finishing first in each of the four groups advance to the second phase, where they join the top eight seeded players.

 

In the second phase, which consists of four groups of three, players finishing first and second in each of the groups progress to the quarter-finals, where the knockout stage begins.

 

Apart from direct entry for the reigning World Championships winner and one wildcard selected by the ITTF, players have to qualify through the Continental Cups, with a different quota allocated to each continent based on the world ranking. The following 20 players have been invited to compete, as revealed by the ITTF:

 

  • LI Xiaoxia (CHN), World Championships winner
  • HAN Xing (CGO), African Cup winner
  • LIU Shiwen (CHN2), Asian Cup winner
  • Kasumi ISHIKAWA (JPN), Asian Cup 2nd
  • SEOK Ha-jung (KOR), Asian Cup 4th
  • JIANG Hua-jun (HKG), Asian Cup 5th
  • FENG Tian Wei (SIN), Asian Cup 6th
  • YANG Ha-eun (KOR), Asian Cup 7th
  • YU Mengyu (SIN), Asian Cup 8th place
  • LIU Jia (AUT), Europe (QF WTTC)
  • Melek HU (TUR), Europe (QF WTTC)
  • SHEN Yanfei (ESP), Europe (last 16 WTTC)
  • Tetyana BILENKO (UKR), Europe (last 16 WTTC)
  • WU Xue (DOM), Latin American Cup winner
  • Yadira SILVA (MEX), Latin American Cup 2nd
  • Lily ZHANG (USA), North American Cup winner
  • Ariel HSING (USA), North American Cup 2nd
  • MIAO Miao (AUS), Oceania Cup winner
  • LI Chunli (NZL), Oceania Cup 2nd
  • Ai FURUHARA (JPN), ITTF wildcard

 

TV networks broadcasting the Women’s World Cup live or delayed include TV Tokyo (Japan), One World Sport (USA & Canada), Skynet (Myanmar), TDM (Macau), Starhub (Singapore), I-Cable (Hong Kong), GMM Grammy (Thailand), GDTV (China), CCTV (China), Al Jazeera Sports (MENA), ELTA (Taiwan), Astro (Malaysia), Perform – News (Worldwide), Fox Sports Asia – News (Asia), EBU – News (EBU Members), Fox Sports Australia (Australia) and TV One (Indonesia).

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