CNT's Mock Olympics

I think the greater concern is if they can survive to even meet China with the proposed format of going into every stage with only four matches that they have any chances of winning. Call me pessimistic but Mizutani/Niwa seems like a recipe for disaster not because they are both lefties but mainly that neither has killer shots so their pairing still retains their individual weakness. Again, I have serious reservations about potentially starting every stage with a loss. That said, if they do manage to reach the finals after surmounting all the difficulties along the way, it could do wonders to their resilience.

Hmm, are teams allowed to play different doubles pairings from match to match? Or do they declare a doubles pairing at the start of the tournament and stick with it?

Because if you are allowed to change it around, the Japanese team would not have this problem.

Needing 2 wins from Harimoto is really only a thing they need against the CNT, Mizutani and Niwa are capable of being reasonably expected to take a match between them in singles against any other team, though obviously there are plenty of teams for which that is not a given.

Against other teams, they are definitely capable of taking 3 wins, then it's about favourable matchups and getting 3 before the opposing team gets 3. Against the CNT it's a completely diffrent problem, there are effectively no combination of matchups where the CNT is not a favourite in every matchup, at that stage the JNT are just looking to create variance.
 
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Hmm, are teams allowed to play different doubles pairings from match to match? Or do they declare a doubles pairing at the start of the tournament and stick with it?

Because if you are allowed to change it around, the Japanese team would not have this problem.

Theoretically they could, but in reality they have never changed up their lineups whenever doubles are involved in team tournaments after the addition of Harimoto (e.g. Team World Cups 2018 and 2019). That said, it has always been two righties and a lefty in those tournaments. Two lefties and one righty is a first so you may be right, the possibility of mixing things up is not foreclosed.
 
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Interestingly on the weekly Takkyu Japan program, a few weeks ago, they showed the WTTTC QF between Japan and Taipei in 2000

At the time, Japan had not won a medal for many years.... Well they did the unexpected on that day, and put their best player at the time, Koji Matsushita as their #3 to play only 1 singles, and fielded the veteran player Seiko Iseki (ex-CNT, ex-doubles Olympic and world champion), 38 yo at the time, who was supposed to be a bencher. Amazingly Iseki beat a very young CCY. Matsushita won his match, and the other JNT player clinched victory in the last match. [there was no doubles in this competition]

So Japan is not as rigid as one would like to think. They can be very pragmatic too and decide on the fly according to the circumstances.
 
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Interestingly on the weekly Takkyu Japan program, a few weeks ago, they showed the WTTTC QF between Japan and Taipei in 2000

At the time, Japan had not won a medal for many years.... Well they did the unexpected on that day, and put their best player at the time, Koji Matsushita as their #3 to play only 1 singles, and fielded the veteran player Seiko Iseki (ex-CNT, ex-doubles Olympic and world champion), 38 yo at the time, who was supposed to be a bencher. Amazingly Iseki beat a very young CCY. Matsushita won his match, and the other JNT player clinched victory in the last match. [there was no doubles in this competition]

So Japan is not as rigid as one would like to think. They can be very pragmatic too and decide on the fly according to the circumstances.

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Takes me back to when Japan used this lineup against China in the 2018 WTTTC

It was seen as a bold lineup by some fans at that time. But maybe, it wasn't bold enough. In hindsight, now that we know how she performed against ZYL in 2019, what if Japan had been even bolder and played Miyu Nagasaki for the 3rd match?(I kid.)

On a serious note, I wonder how bold Japan will be with their lineup in the next World TT Team Championships if ever they make the final against China given that they have Hayata and Sato on their bench, both of whom have recently matched up better against CNT players than Hirano and Ishikawa have.
 
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Takes me back to when Japan used this lineup against China in the 2018 WTTTC

It was seen as a bold lineup by some fans at that time. But maybe, it wasn't bold enough. In hindsight, now that we know how she performed against ZYL in 2019, what if Japan had been even bolder and played Miyu Nagasaki for the 3rd match?(I kid.)

On a serious note, I wonder how bold Japan will be with their lineup in the next World TT Team Championships if ever they make the final against China given that they have Hayata and Sato on their bench, both of whom have recently matched up better against CNT players than Hirano and Ishikawa have.

Potential WTTC 2021 matchup (if it ever happens)

Mima Ito X Chen Meng
Hina Hayata X Liu Shiwen
Sato Hitomi X Sun Yingsha
Mima Ito X Liu Shiwen
Hina Hayata X Chen Meng
 
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Hmm, are teams allowed to play different doubles pairings from match to match? Or do they declare a doubles pairing at the start of the tournament and stick with it?

Because if you are allowed to change it around, the Japanese team would not have this problem.

Needing 2 wins from Harimoto is really only a thing they need against the CNT, Mizutani and Niwa are capable of being reasonably expected to take a match between them in singles against any other team, though obviously there are plenty of teams for which that is not a given.


Against other teams, they are definitely capable of taking 3 wins, then it's about favourable matchups and getting 3 before the opposing team gets 3. Against the CNT it's a completely diffrent problem, there are effectively no combination of matchups where the CNT is not a favourite in every matchup, at that stage the JNT are just looking to create variance.

Agreed with all the above. Re: the bolded part, I think Japan needs to be equally worried about beating the others and getting the opportunity to play China, just as much as they need to worry about if and when they play China.

South Korea, Germany, and Taiwan are all very formidable threats.
 
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It was seen as a bold lineup by some fans at that time. But maybe, it wasn't bold enough. In hindsight, now that we know how she performed against ZYL in 2019, what if Japan had been even bolder and played Miyu Nagasaki for the 3rd match?(I kid.)

bi1Mi9u.jpg


And what if they played Hayata, Ito, Nagasaki in that order? Could've been World Champions in straight matches!

Even the camera crew showed us the winning formula.
 
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Needing 2 wins from Harimoto is really only a thing they need against the CNT, Mizutani and Niwa are capable of being reasonably expected to take a match between them in singles against any other team, though obviously there are plenty of teams for which that is not a given.

Japan: Thank takkyuu kamisama the root of this sport is not invited!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0WTe9yDhA0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImzjK4EMqrE

As it stands, I'd say they don't even have a realistic shot at podium. Harimoto is too volatile, with a high standard deviation. Niwa is either free-flowing or free-falling. Mizutani is surprisingly consistent given his eye condition, but like he said after the All-Japan Championships, his stamina can't really keep up anymore.
 
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Potential WTTC 2021 matchup (if it ever happens)

Mima Ito X Chen Meng
Hina Hayata X Liu Shiwen
Sato Hitomi X Sun Yingsha
Mima Ito X Liu Shiwen
Hina Hayata X Chen Meng

I think there's very little chance for Hitomi Sato. Ishikawa or Hirano are both better. Sato has beaten twice Ding Ning but if Ding Ning isn't even in the line-up her chances to play are nil - at least in the KO stage, maybe in group stage she'd get one or two matches.
 
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The umpires in this tournament deserves a shout out. They are volunteers, competent volunteers, as umpires are everywhere. 16 days for a tournament is rather long. But then 7 days quarantine up front. And probably one day at each end for travel. 25 days away from home, family and work. To add to this: You are not allowed to go anywhere else than the venue and the hotel, and the social life is limited. (Not allowed to "hang out" they said). And just outside the door you have the perfect holiday destination.... Lots of commitment and love of the sport! :cool:
 
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Maaaybe Ishikawa might have a better chance against Sun Yingsha but I don't think Sato gets destroyed everytime she plays CNT. In fact she was the most competitive one from JNT against CNT during WTTC 2019 (losing 4-2 to Wang Manyu, nearly drawing level at 3-3).
 
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Maaaybe Ishikawa might have a better chance against Sun Yingsha but I don't think Sato gets destroyed everytime she plays CNT. In fact she was the most competitive one from JNT against CNT during WTTC 2019 (losing 4-2 to Wang Manyu, nearly drawing level at 3-3).

Wang Manyu won't be playing. I think the novelty factor has been helping Sato, but i don't think she can do much better from here. She's already playing to the best of her abilities and her lack of power because of her tiny physique is too much of a handicap against the top CNT players although she can make up with that against other players
 
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In a rare move, the CGTN has done an English coverage on Sun Yingsha.

Video interview with SYS after the jump
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-09-...for-opportunities-ahead-TxqCsU5JWE/index.html
"Opportunity awaits those who are prepared. I had not played for a long time, and the Olympic tune-up event was a good competition for me. I will learn from these experiences and work hard to prepare myself for next year's Olympics."

...

"Manyu and I know each other well. I can say that both of us are fairly advanced among the younger generation." She said before going on to praise the evaluation skills and strategic style of her Japanese rival.

"Mima and I are the same age, and she does well in evaluating the game, imposing strategies and being bold when facing key points. I have learned a lot from her in recent years, and I actually enjoy watching her play."

"Mima, Manyu and I could be long-term rivals in the future, so I need to learn from both of them."
 
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