Japan (#3 seed) includes World #13, Tomokazu Harimoto, who at only 14 years old just beat world #1 Fan Zhendong of China. Also includes fan favorites #11, Jun Mizutani (exceptional topspin counter-play) and #9, Koki Niwa (masterful and creative king of blocks).
Women’s Championship Division:
#1 seeded China is always a force to be reckoned with and this year’s team is no exception. It includes #1 Chen Meng, #2 Zhu Yuling, #5 Wang Manyu, and bringing up the rear at #10 & #11 are veteran players Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning, both of whom have spent considerable time at #1 in the past.
Japan is the #2 seed and has the youngest team by far. It is led by veteran (at only 25 years old!) #3 Kasumi Ishikawa. Other members include #6 Miu Hirano (age 18), #7 Mima Ito (age 17), #18 Hina Hiyata (age 17), and #81 Miyu Nagasaki, the youngster at only 15 years old!
#3 seeded Chinese Taipei, on the other hand, has perhaps the oldest mix of players among the top contenders, with all of its players between the ages of 24 and 30, including #8 Cheng I-Ching, and #14 Chen Szu-Yu.
Canada Vs. US Challenge:
The US is seeded #38 in Men’s Division 2, while Canada is seeded last in that same division at #48. They’re in separate round robin groups. Canada is putting up a full contingent of 5 players while the US is sending only 4 players. Will this help Canada better survive the grueling 8 days of competition? The US is in a round robin group with #28 Spain, #29 Iran, #35 Kazakhstan, #44 Luxembourg, and #46 Puerto Rico. Canada’s group includes #25 Chile, #32 Denmark, #33 Ukraine, #39 Thailand, and #42 Netherlands.
Isn't This Contest Rigged For The PPD Staff?
No, not at all. While the experts here at PPD will enter the contest just for fun (and bragging rights!), all employees, sub-contractors, suppliers, their families, and anyone else connected financially to Ping Pong Depot are ineligible to win any prizes.