Heming Hu and Jian Fang Lay reign supreme in Oceania to reach ITTF World Cups.
Τhe green and gold of Australia will be represented at both the ITTF Men's and Women's World Cups later this year in Chengdu, China, after Heming HU and Jian Fang LAY won the respective men's and women's titles at the 2019 ITTF Oceania Cup in Bora Bora, French Polynesia, on Sunday 26 May.
If HU was impressive in the men's competition, the women's draw was completely dominated by 46-year-old pen-holder Jian Fang LAY (AUS), who has now qualified for her third consecutive World Cup. The world no. 85 did not lose a single game en route to the women's singles title, which she sealed with a final victory over compatriot Parleen KAUR (11-6, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5) having defeated ZHOU Jiayi (NZL) in the semi-final (11-3, 11-3, 11-1, 11-8).
The 2019 ITTF Men's World Cup and Uncle Pop 2019 ITTF Women's World Cup will both take place in Chengdu, China, later this year. The ITTF World Cups represent the second most prestigious events on the international table tennis calendar, after the ITTF World Championships, and they count towards the Grand Slam (Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cups).
Each of the 2019 ITTF Men's and Women's World Cups will feature 20 of the globe's top table tennis players, 18 of which will have qualified through their respective Continental Cups, together with the ITTF World Champion and a wildcard.
Here are the players who have qualified so far for the 2019 ITTF World Cups:
- Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships: MA Long (CHN); LIU Shiwen (CHN).
- China Construction Bank 2019 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup: Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER), Vladimir SAMSONOV (BLR), Timo BOLL (GER); Petrissa SOLJA (GER), Bernadette SZOCS (ROU), Sofia POLCANOVA (AUT).
- Universal 2019 ITTF Pan American Cup: Hugo CALDERANO (BRA), Kanak JHA (USA); Adriana DIAZ (PUR), ZHANG Mo (CAN).
- Lion 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup: FAN Zhendong (CHN), Koki NIWA (JPN), Tomokazu HARIMOTO (JPN); ZHU Yuling (CHN), Kasumi ISHIKAWA (JPN), FENG Tianwei (SGP).
- 2019 ITTF Oceania Cup: Heming HU (AUS); Jian Fang LAY (AUS).
Further names will book their places at the 2019 ITTF World Cups via the ITTF Africa Cup (3-5 August in Lagos, Nigeria).