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Table Tennis-Ten Out of Ten for Tie Yana but Top Marks Prove Elusive
Experience counts, consistency counts and if there is one player, who will be competing in the Volkswagen Women’s World Cup in Singapore from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th October 2011, that possesses those two qualities, it is Hong Kong’s Tie Yana.
She is one of the most consistent performers in the history of the tournament.
Now 32 years old, she is one of the most experienced.
Tie Yana made her debut in the prestigious event in 2002, coincidentally in Singapore, the home for what will be her tenth consecutive appearance in the annual tournament.
No player can match that record of appearances, not even the two most successful players in the history of the tournament.
China’s Wang Nan and Zhang Yining each won four times; a quite incredible record when taken into consideration that each only competed on seven occasions.
However, when it comes to being present year after year, the queen is Tie Yana.
Furthermore, she has a splendid record in the event; only once has she not reached the semi-finals and only once has she not been a quarter-finalist.
In 2003 in Hong Kong, she departed proceedings in the round of the last eight, in 2009 in Guangzhou, she failed to progress beyond the group stage.
Two comparative disappointments and arguably there is one further disappointment for Tie Yana.
She has never won the competition; her best effort came in 2008 in Kuala Lumpur; that could be a good omen for Tie Yana but not for the hosts, Singapore.
Successful in the group stage, she overcame two players who are competing in 2011 to reach the final; in the quarter-finals she overcame Korea’s Kim Kyung Ah in a full distance seven games duel, before ousting Singapore’s Feng Tianwei in four straight games.
A most meritorious performance, Feng Tianwei was in form, very good form.
One round earlier she had beaten China’s Guo Yue, the top seed and at the time the reigning World champion.
Alas for Tie Yana, at the final hurdle, she suffered defeat at the hands of Li Xiaoxia; silver not gold was to be her lot.
Once again Li Xiaoxia will be in action in 2011 and three years ago, in the second stage of proceedings, she beat two players who will be competing this year.
In the round of the last eight she ousted Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun, before causing Singapore more pain, she accounted for Wang Yuegu; two Singaporeans reached the semi-final stage, two suffered defeat.
The appearance of Tie Yana in the final was quite an achievement; in reaching the gold medal match, she became only the second player not representing China to reach the final, the other being North Korea’s Kim Hyon Hui in the Chinese city of Wuhu in 2001 when beaten by Zhang Yining.
Bronze Medal Match
Second place on one occasion for Tie Yana but the bronze medal match is her customary farewell.
She has competed in that contest on no less than six occasions, finished in fourth place four times; the third placed finishes coming in Hangzhou, China and perhaps more pertinently in 2002 on her inaugural appearance in Singapore.
Another good omen for Tie Yana?
08. August 141
– but the sailors praise the new boats