Ping Pong Wizard Hirano Miu Did It!
The Asian Table Tennis Championships closed April 15 in Wuxi, China, Japan's women's TT champion 2017 Miu Hirano reigning in women's singles for the first time in twenty years since 1996.
The Asian TT Championships meet every other year and China has dominated for a number of years. Hirano met and defeated some big-time Chinese in the game, notably Ding Ning, the gold medalist at Rio this year.
In the women's singles final match, Hirano met China's 5th ranking Chen Meng. Hirano managed to control the first two games with deadly smashes. The third and last game turned out a grand show of precision shots by Hirano. Her opponent, Chen Meng, was on the defense the rest of the game to eventually lose the match 0-3.
Hirano's feat marked Japan's first victory in the Asian TT Championships in a decade since 1996 when Chire Koyama won the crown in women's singles.
Miu Hirano comments:
"I knew I had play against players ranking above me and I needed more than my very best, but then I never thought I would win.
"I had won the world cup and All Japan Championships but not against any Chinese players. Now that I have, I might have made improved my skill somewhat?
Asked about the upcoming World TT Championships, Hirano added:
"I'll likely be studied up, so to say, by other players. I tell myself to step farther up to meet them."
Miu's mother, resident in Shizuoka, Japan, who watched her daughter win the title commented:
"I thought my daughter was well composed throughout the games to impress on me that she grew up more that I had imagined.
"Miu won the World Cup last year but not against Chinese rivals. This time she has outplayed them one after another. I believe she now deserves the title World Champion.
"Miu's dream reaches out for the Tokyo Olympics. I want to encourage her to try harder to that end." (Nathan Shiga)