LIU Breaks Ning’s 22-Month Streak as World #1

Lausanne, Sept 6, 2013: LIU Shiwen (CHN) is table tennis’s new women’s world number one, knocking her team mate DING Ning (CHN) off top spot, which she had held for a record 22 months.

The 22 year old, who last held the number one spot back in October 2010 as a fresh-faced 19 year old, has had a fantastic 2013, making the final in five out of six events she participated in, and winning two of them.

One of the events she won was the 2013 Asian Cup, which qualified her for the STARTS 2013 Women’s World Cup in Japan held from 21 to 23 September, at which she will be the red-hot favorite.

DING Ning falls back to the second position, just ahead of the Olympic and World Champion LI Xiaoxia, and Singapore’s FENG Tianwei. Japan’s great hope Kasumi ISHIKAWA has moved into the top 10 in 9th position, which will increase the locals’ hopes of a gold medal at the upcoming Women’s World Cup.

Belarusian Viktoria PAVLOVICH was rewarded for her gold medal performance at last month’s GAC Group ITTF Czech Open, and has moved up 3 spots into 12th place.

On the men’s world ranking list, 24 year old MA Long remains the world number one for the third consecutive month, extending his lead over world number two XU Xin after winning the GAC Group 2013 Harmony Open in Suzhou.

German duo Timo BOLL and Dimitrij OVTCHAROV maintain their respective 5th and 6th ranking, while 16 year old Chinese prodigy FAN Zhendong moves back into the top 10 for the second time in his short career.

Koki NIWA (JPN) moved from 18th to 13th place and Kenta MATSUDAIRA (JPN) moved from 24th to 18th place, after beating top Chinese players YAN An (world number 8) and WANG Hao (world number 3) respectively at the GAC Group 2013 Harmony Open.

September’s world ranking also confirms that the legend of Masato SHIONO (JPN) continues to rise. The 27 year old was an unknown player, ranked 188 in the world, before he shocked the world by winning the GAC Group ITTF World Tour Japan Open, and then followed it up in August by winning the GAC Group ITTF World Tour Czech Open. He is now ranked 52 in the world.

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