JTTA: Selection System to be Revamped for Paris 2024

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10 yr old Miku Matsushima (younger sister of Sora Matsushima) might just be the next JNT women's superstar in a few years. She just won the U15 GS at Youth Contender Havrov beating 14 yo compatriot Rio Shintani in the finals, and also beat compatriot 13 yo Karin Hanazawa along the way. She's improving at an amazing rate.
and she even beated Adam Bobrow

 
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says Shoo...nothing to see here. - zeio
says Shoo...nothing to see here. - zeio
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Harimoto's interview during WTT CS Chongqing 2024, likely after his win over Assar. Even more Tieba users have taken a liking to him after this.

纸盒还挺实诚:我说金牌又要被骂了 拿十个公开赛冠军也不如一个奥运会奖牌 (Paper Box is quite honest: I would get told off again for saying gold medal. Winning 10 Opens is never as good as an Olympic medal)
https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV11i421m7Lj
张本越来越懂了 (Harimoto is more and more sophisticated)
https://tieba.baidu.com/p/9036660512
 
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Remaining schedule for the Japanese players before the Paris Olympics:

TournamentDateMale PlayersFemale Players
Contender ZagrebJune 3-9Harimoto
Togami
Matsushima
Shinozuka
Hayata
Harimoto
Ito
Hirano
Kihara
Odo
Yokoi
Star Contender LjubljanaJune 11-16Harimoto
Togami
Matsushima
Shinozuka
Oikawa
Hayata
Harimoto
Ito
Hirano
Kihara
Nagasaki
Contender TunisJune 25-30Harimoto
Togami
Yoshimura
Matsushima
Tanaka
Oikawa
Yoshiyama
Uda
Hayata
Harimoto
Nagasaki
Mori
Sasao
Yokoi
Kimura
Star Contender BangkokJuly 2-7Harimoto
Togami
Yoshimura
Matsushima
Shinozuka
Tanaka
Uda
Aida
Hayata
Harimoto
Ito
Hirano
Kihara
Nagasaki
Sasao
Sato
Hashimoto
Shibata
 
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Remaining schedule for the Japanese players before the Paris Olympics:

TournamentDateMale PlayersFemale Players
Contender ZagrebJune 3-9Harimoto
Togami
Matsushima
Shinozuka
Hayata
Harimoto
Ito
Hirano
Kihara
Odo
Yokoi
Star Contender LjubljanaJune 11-16Harimoto
Togami
Matsushima
Shinozuka
Oikawa
Hayata
Harimoto
Ito
Hirano
Kihara
Nagasaki
Contender TunisJune 25-30Harimoto
Togami
Yoshimura
Matsushima
Tanaka
Oikawa
Yoshiyama
Uda
Hayata
Harimoto
Nagasaki
Mori
Sasao
Yokoi
Kimura
Star Contender BangkokJuly 2-7Harimoto
Togami
Yoshimura
Matsushima
Shinozuka
Tanaka
Uda
Aida
Hayata
Harimoto
Ito
Hirano
Kihara
Nagasaki
Sasao
Sato
Hashimoto
Shibata
It feels to me like too much competition and should ideally be replaced by internal training. But that said, no one knows how to really do internal training other than the CNT.
 
says Shoo...nothing to see here. - zeio
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Posting here for future reference.

On the issue of luck [1, 2, 3, 4], here is the article titled "To Win Even When You're Unlucky 'Unyielding Super Mental Technique'" in which Mizutani "rants" on and on about how he is an extremely unlucky person and how he has a negative character. It's filled with terms such as 運が悪く/bad luck, ラッキーカラー/lucky color, 運気上げるメッセージ/good luck message... He goes into detail how he did everything within his power to improve his luck [like one paper suggests, and my stance that Hayata should heed it] and hence his odds of beating XX/LSW.

Whatever the case, Mizutani states that it was very fortunate that he and Ito won in XD and he probably would've lost if he didn't pair up with Ito.

https://president.jp/articles/-/53715
YuGY66i.jpg

YxT19YW.jpg

運が悪くても勝てる「不屈の超メンタル術」水谷隼 Jun Mizutani

金メダルを取った日、朝のテレビの占いで……

 東京ォリンピック混ムロダブルスの決勝戦の日。僕はいつになく早い時間に目が覚め、朝のニュース番組を見ていました。すると占いが始まり、僕のふたご座は「ラッキーカラーはピンク」と出た。これを見て僕は「今日はピンクの線が人った赤いユニフォームを着よう」と決めました。ただし、対戦相手は中国ペァ。彼らは決勝戦など大事な試合では、赤を着ることが多いんです。試合では同じ色のユニフォームを着てはいけないというルールがありますから、中国も「赤が着たい」と言ったらどうしよう。そう思いながら試合前、中国選手に「赤を着たい」と言ったところ、「いいよ」と快諾してくれました。今思えば不思議で、珍しいことのように思えます。結果、僕たちは中国ペアという強敵を破り、日本卓球界初となる金メダルを獲得しました。たまたま見た朝の占いですが、連気を上げるメッセージを信じたことは、奇跡のように田心います。

 実は僕、ものすごく運が悪い人間なんです。「運」とは、自分の知識や技術ではどうにもできないものだと思い・ます。卓球も、対戦相手の組み合わせや、試合時間の決定なども完全に運に左右されます。練習でどうにかなることではありません。試合時問が遅延することも、結構な頻度で起こります。

 試合中にも、勝負の流れを一気に変えてしまうようなアクシデントがよく起こります。例えば、ボールが相手コートの台の角にあたる「エッジボール」や、ネットにボールが触れてから相手のコートに入る「ネットイン」。これらは偶発的に起こるもので、受けたほうはほとんど返球できません。このようなラッキーな出来事が試合相手と5対5の割合で起こるならいい。しかし連の悪い僕の場合、自分は3で相手が7。7割のラッキーが起こる相手はいいですよね。天運に恵まれているんです。なりたくてなれるものではありません。

 試合中「空気が変わったな」と思う瞬間もあります。例えば、自分がリードしているのに、急に「やばいかも」という空気を察知したりするんです。普涌だったら95%人るボールなのに2本連続で、、、スしたり、点を取った後に審判が「サーブ、がネットインだから、今の無効だよ」と言い出すなど、「そんなことある?」という不運が続くんです。それはいきなりやってくる。その空気になった瞬問に、どうやっても占ぶ取れなくなる。本当に。そのままやったら、絶対に勝てないと、経験上わかります。それでも、もがき続けるしかありません。オリンピックの決勝でもありました。最終セットを9対3でリードしていたのに、向こうに1点取られたくらいから、そういう感覚に陥りました。9対5まで巻き返されて「あ、これ絶対負けるわ」という嫌な空気を感じていました。しかし、そのあとに伊藤美誠選手が運よくネットインしてくれて、また空気が変わりました。僕にも決めるチャンスが回ってきて、勝利を引き寄せることができた。非常に幸運な出来事でした。彼女とペアでなければ負けていたと思いますね。

ネガティブな僕が前向きでいられるワケ

 思い起こせば、2019年は本当についていなかった。4大会連続の五輪シングルス出場は叶わず、非常に悔しい思いをしました。ただ、今回シングルスで出ていたら、混ム旦ダブルスで金メダルを取れなかったかもしれません。めぐり合わせとは不思議なものです。

 以前あまりにも不運が続いたときに、岩崎恭子さん(バルセロナオリンピック200メートル泳ぎ金メダリスト)に運気アップの方法を聞いたことがあります。岩崎さんからは「ゴミ拾いをするといいよ」と言われました。意外でしたが、きっと日頃の行いが運に直結するということでしょう。早速、翌日から僕は練習場のゴミ拾いを始めました。こうした願掛けは好きなほうで、月に1回、僕は神奈川県の川崎大師に参拝しています。オリンピック出場時の願いごとは「すべて自分の思い通りになりますように」。対戦相手とのラッキー比率の7対3も、せめて5対5になってくれればと強く願いました。

 僕はもう「運の悪さを受け入れるしかない」という境地に立っているんです。チームメイトにも「自分は運がない」と公言していました。試合中に想定外の場所からボールが飛びこんできて、順調だった試合が中断することもありました。そんなついていないことが起きるたび、チームメイトから「君は運がないから仕方ないよ」と励ましのアイコンタクトがくるほどになっていました。不運からは逃げようがないなら、それを受け入れて共存していく。そう決めたあたりから、運の流れが変わったように感じます。

 僕は13年頃から目に違和感を覚えるようになりました。卓球選手にとって目は命です。それが18年にはひどくなり、ボールが消える(見えなくなる)ようになりました。病院を何軒はしごしても原因がわからない状態が続き、21年5月になってやっと「ビジュアルスノウ」(視界砂嵐症候群)という病名にたどり着きました。降雪やテレビの砂嵐のような光景が視界にある視覚障害です。これといった治療法はなく、心を病んでしまう人もいるそうです。オリンピック直前の時期に、同じ症状で苦しんでいた人がライブ配信で「今から自殺します」と(具言し、自殺してしまったことがありました。とても衝撃的で、人ごととは思えませんでした。自分だって明日はどうなるかわからない。そんな精神状態のなか、一時期は卓球をやめてしまいたいと思うほどでした。しかし、多くの人に支えられている現実や、責任感から、なんとか続けることができました。

 試合中しっかりボールを見ようとすると動きが遅れてしまいます。だから「目の調子が悪い」ということを受け入れて、なんとなく見えた時点で動き出そうという意識に変えました。すると、またうまくボールが打てるようになったんです。オリンピックのときも、目が健康なときに比べてパフォーマンスは3割程度しか出せませんでした。しかし、その3割で活躍できるように必死に努力しました。そんな状態でも金メダルを取れたことは、むしろ幸運とも言えます。「運」とは自分の意思や行動とは違うところにあり、どう受け止めて生かすかが大専尭と思います。

 試合やビジネスシーン、メディアに出演する僕は常にポジティブで、強いメンタルの持ち主ですが、素顔の水谷隼は「超ネガティブ人間」なんです。ただ、ネガティブにばかり考えていたら生きていけません。努めてポジティブに考えるようにはしています。今でも人前に出るときは「ポジティブな水谷隼」を演じているところもあります。「運が悪い」と悩んでいる方がいたら、まずその自分を受け人れること。そこか島ら、どうすれば良くなるかを考えるといいと思います。運の潮目を察知して流れに乗ることで、良いときも悪いときもうまく対応できる習慣が身に付くのではないでしょうか。
Mizutani Jun's "Unyielding Super Mental Technique" to Win Even When You're Unlucky

The day I won the gold medal, my morning TV fortune told me...

It was the day of the Tokyo Olympics mixed doubles final. I woke up earlier than usual and was watching the morning news. Then the fortune telling started, and it said that my Gemini sign's lucky color was pink. After seeing this, I decided to wear a red uniform with a pink line on it today. However, our opponent was a Chinese pair. They often wear red in important matches such as the final. There is a rule that you cannot wear the same color uniform in a match, so what if China also said, "I want to wear red?" With that in mind, before the match, I told the Chinese player, "I want to wear red," and he readily agreed, saying, "Okay." Looking back, it seems strange and unusual. As a result, we defeated the strong Chinese pair and won the first gold medal in the Japanese table tennis world. I happened to see the morning fortune telling, but I believe the message to improve my luck, and it's like a miracle that I believed it.

Actually, I'm a person with extremely bad luck. I think that "luck" is something that you can't change with your knowledge or skills. In table tennis, the matchups of opponents and the timing of the match are all dependent on luck. It's not something that can be changed by practice. Delays in the match also happen quite often.

Even during a match, accidents that can change the flow of the game often happen. For example, an "edge ball" where the ball hits the corner of the table in the opponent's court, or a "net-in" where the ball touches the net and then goes into the opponent's court. These happen by chance, and the person who receives the ball can hardly return it. It would be fine if such lucky events happened 50/50 with my opponent. But in my case, I have bad luck, so I'm 30 and my opponent is 70. It'd be great to have an opponent that gives you 70% of the luck. Being blessed with heavenly luck is not somehting you can do just because you want to.

There are also moments during a match when you think, "The atmosphere has changed." For example, even though I was leading, I would suddenly sense the atmosphere of "this might be bad." I would miss two balls in a row that I would have hit 95% of the time, or after I'd scored a point, the umpire would say, "This serve went into the net, so it's invalid," and I'd have a series of bad luck that made me wonder, "How could that even happen?" It would come suddenly. The moment that atmosphere started, I couldn't figure it out no matter what I did. Really. I know from experience that if I continued playing like that, I would never win. But I had no choice but to keep struggling. It was the Olympic final. I was leading the final set 9-3, but after they took one point, I fell into that feeling. I was swept up to 9-5 and felt a bad atmosphere of "Oh, I'm definitely going to lose." But then Ito Mima was lucky enough to score a point that clipped the net, and the atmosphere changed again. I had a chance to make the decision, and I was able to pull off the victory. It was a very fortunate event. I think I would have lost if I hadn't been paired with her.

Why I, a negative person, can stay positive

Looking back, 2019 was a really bad year for me. I was very disappointed that I couldn't compete in the singles at the Olympics for the fourth consecutive time. However, if I had competed in the singles this time, I might not have won the gold medal in the mixed doubles. It's strange how things turn out.

When I was having a string of bad luck, I once asked Kyoko Iwasaki (gold medalist in the 200m swim at the Barcelona Olympics) about ways to improve one's luck. She told me, "Pick up trash." I was surprised, but I guess it's because our daily actions are directly connected to our luck. The next day, I started picking up trash at the training ground. I like making these kinds of wishes, and once a month I visit Kawasaki Daishi in Kanagawa Prefecture. My wish when I participated in the Olympics was, "May everything go my way." I strongly hoped that my lucky ratio with my opponents, which was 7:3, would at least become 5:5.

I've reached a point where I have no choice but to accept my bad luck. I even told my teammates that I was unlucky. There were times during a match when a ball would come flying in from an unexpected place, interrupting a match that was going well. Whenever something unlucky like that happened, my teammates would give me encouraging eye contact and say, "You're unlucky, so it can't be helped." If you can't escape bad luck, you have to accept it and coexist with it. It feels like my luck started to change around the time I made that decision.

I started to feel something strange in my eyes around 2013. For a table tennis player, the eyes are life. In 2018, it got worse, and I started to lose sight of the ball. No matter how many hospitals I went to, the cause was still unknown, and in May 2021, I finally found out that I had a condition called "visual snow." It is a visual disorder in which you see images that look like snowfall or television static. There is no specific treatment, and some people end up becoming mentally ill. Just before the Olympics, someone who was suffering from the same symptoms said in a live stream, "I'm going to commit suicide now," and then committed suicide. It was such a shock that I couldn't believe it. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. In that mental state, I even wanted to quit table tennis for a while. However, the reality that I was supported by so many people and the sense of responsibility helped me to continue.

If I try to look closely at the ball during a match, my movements slow down. So I accepted the fact that my eyes were not working well, and changed my mindset to start moving as soon as I could roughly see the ball. Then, I was able to hit the ball well again. During the Olympics, I was only able to perform at about 30% of the time that I would when my eyes were healthy. However, I needed to do my best to perform at that 30%. I tried my hardest. I think it was good fortune that I was able to win the gold medal even in that condition. "Luck" is something other than one's will or actions, and I think the most important thing is how you accept it and use it to your advantage.

I am always positive and have a strong mentality when I appear in competitions, business situations, and in the media, but the real Mizutani Jun is a "super negative person." However, you can't live if you only think negatively. I try to think positively. Even now, when I appear in front of people, I sometimes act like a "positive Mizutani Jun." If you are worried about your "bad luck," the first thing to do is to accept yourself. From there, I think it's good to think about what you can do to improve. By sensing the tides of your luck and going with the flow, you can develop the habit of being able to deal with both good and bad times well.
 
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says Shoo...nothing to see here. - zeio
says Shoo...nothing to see here. - zeio
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Here is another example from WTTC 2019, where Ito/Hayata lamented that they lost to WMY/SYS due to lack of luck. It was the first thing that came out of their mouths. They must envy so much Kihara/Nagasaki at WTGF 2019 and Kihara/Harimoto at Asian Games 2022.

https://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/tabletennis/news/2019/04/004179.html
 試合を終えた早田と伊藤は「仕方がない。運がなかった」と言いながらも、その表情には悔しさと納得のいかない感情が入り混じる。「あの1本はすごく大きかった。私たちにとっては10-9になる時だったので。本当はその1本を取って、タイムアウトもせずに勝てた試合だったんじゃないか」と伊藤が言うと、早田も「私が出したサービスはネットを越えて軌道も変わらず、相手がレシーブミスをした。相手選手も『あ、ミスした』という表情だった。それからレットになった」と状況を説明する。

同じネット競技でも卓球にはテニスやバレーボールのようにチャレンジシステムと呼ばれるビデオ判定が導入されておらず、ネットにもセンサーが付いていないため、判定は基本的に審判の目視で行われる。したがって一度くだされた判定が変わることは滅多にない。

だが、こうした諸事情をひっくるめて伊藤は、ゲームカウント2-0でリードしながら2-2に追いつかれてしまったことに敗因があると指摘し、早田もサービスで先手を取った最初の2ゲームとは一変、第3ゲームはしっかりレシーブを返してきた中国人ペアの対応力を挙げ、「(第3ゲームは)逆に私の3球目が甘くなったり安定しなくなった」と反省を口にする。

確かにアンラッキーな出来事ではあった。しかし結局のところ、伊藤がインタビューの最後に言ったこの言葉に尽きるのかもしれない。

「全部がひとつずつ上回られました。運もそうですし、実力もそうですし、技術も戦術も」

(文=高樹ミナ)
 
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In a recent interview with Olympics, Hirano looks back on the selection race, Tokyo 2020, ATTC 2017, and World Cup 2016 etc.

What's interesting is that she mentions CIC and FTW who were the superior players at World Cup 2016 and those wins gave her the experience to play CNT players on an equal footing later on. She also says that she has started defeating core CNT players 3 times since 2023 that she hadn't been able to do since 2017, yet she thinks CNT players are still very strong and the biggest obstacles that are difficult to overcome.

平野美宇はいかに成長を続けてきたのか、卓球人生のターニングポイントを語る
https://olympics.com/ja/news/table-tennis-hirano-miu-interview-rio-tokyo-paris
「結構苦しかったんですけど、(東京)オリンピックの本番ではすごく楽しく試合をすることができて、また東京オリンピックで楽しく戦えたからこそ、パリ選考は東京のときよりも精神的に成長した状態で戦うことができ、(パリで)シングルスで代表になるといういい結果をもたらすことができたかなと思います」

「(パリオリンピック日本代表)選考レースは、前半はあまり良い結果が出せなかったんですけど、3回目の国内選考会で優勝することができて、そこから自分にもチャンスがあるかもって思えて、そのおかげで世界卓球にも出場することができました」と平野は続ける。

「選考期間中は本当に全然ダメな試合とかもたくさんあったんですけど、絶対にパリにシングルスで出たいという気持ちがすごく強かったので、その気持ちは誰にも負けず、(だからこそ)最後まで戦うことができたと思います」

...

「自分を変えたのは2016年のワールドカップかなと思ってて、大きな大会で優勝したのは初めてだったので、今考えるとそのときにすごく人生が変わったなって思います」

...

「決勝でチェン・イーチン選手(Chinese Taipei)、準決勝で️フォン・ティエンウェイ選手(シンガポール)と対戦し、自分より格上の選手だったので、ふたりに勝って優勝できたのはすごく嬉しかったです」

この経験を通じ、平野は「世界のトップ選手と対等に戦えるようになった」。

...

「2023年から今までに、最近なかなか勝てなかった中国のトップの選手に3回ぐらい勝つことができて、2017年に1回勝って優勝してから勝つことが全然なかったんですけど、また再び勝つことができて本当に良かったなって思いますし、自分が本当に成長したりとか、(相手に)隙きがないと簡単に勝てないのが中国選手だと思っているので、自分はそこが成長できた部分だと思います」

「それでもやっぱり本当に何回やっても強いなって思うので、今の日本だったり、私にとっては中国選手っていうのはすごく強い存在だし、大きな壁でもあるかなと思います」

...

平野は強きライバルたちの存在を意識しつつも、「パリオリンピックではシングルスに代表になったので、シングルスでメダルを獲得したい」と胸をはる。そして、そのためにもっと成長することを誓う。

「今の自分ではなくて、皮が剥けたような新しい自分で戦いたいですし、団体戦も本当に重要になってくると思う。しっかり準備して、今よりも成長した自分で、最後は笑って終えられるようにパリで頑張りたいです」と目を輝かせた。
 
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Hayata's interview with Spread after 3-0 B. Takahashi at WTT CS Chongqing 2024. Interesting take on the gap between her and SYS and CM.

早田ひな、中国選手との差について言及「孫穎莎選手と陳夢選手が10としたら……」 パリ五輪に向けて「新しい技に挑戦したい」【WTTチャンピオンズ 重慶】
https://spread-sports.jp/archives/276554
■孫穎莎と対戦可能性の今大会

パリ五輪に向けて

もちろん技術の向上をして、もっとパリの緊張した場面で出せるように精度を少しづつ上げていってるような状況。もう1つ、2つパリまでに自分の新しい技に挑戦したいので、それは練習しているところです。

中国選手に比べて自分の位置は

言葉で表現するのが難しいですが、中国人選手では五輪でいうと、孫穎莎選手と陳夢選手が10としたら、私は6くらいの位置かなとは思っています。

中国以外の韓国やドイツなどの代表選手は私たちと実力が変わらない選手だと思う。その中で中国人選手が実力としては抜けていると思ってるので、そこに早く辿り着けるように頑張りたい。

WTT重慶の目標

パリ五輪のシードがかかってくるので、すごく大事な大会になっている。レベルが高いので、しっかり1試合ずつ勝っていくことを目標に、そして次勝ったら孫穎莎選手とやる可能性があるので、自分が準備してきたことを今大会100%出せるように頑張りたいです。
■This tournament where I may face Sun Yingsha

Towards the Paris Olympics

Of course, I'm improving my technique and gradually increasing my accuracy so that I can perform it in more tense situations in Paris. I want to try one or two new techniques before Paris, so I'm currently practicing them.

Compared to the Chinese players

It's hard to put into words, but for Chinese players at the Olympics, if Sun Yingsha and Chen Meng are a 10, I think I'm about a 6.

Other than China, I think the national team players from South Korea and Germany aren't far from us. I think the Chinese players are superior in terms of ability, so I want to work hard to get there as soon as possible.

Goals for WTT Chongqing

This is a very important tournament because it will determine the seeding for the Paris Olympics. The level is high, so my goal is to win each match, and if I win next time, I may play against Sun Yingsha, so I want to work hard to give 100% of what I've prepared in this tournament.

https://www.tabletennisdaily.com/forum/topics/wtt-champions-chongqing-2024.34066/post-462037
Despite the score line, this was one of the better matches out of 15 tries against SYS, as it showed how Hayata used her brain more (FINALLY) when dealing with jet lag and exhaustion.

G1 Dumb Hayata
G2 Dumb Hayata
G3 Smart Hayata
 
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Hirano's interview with Spread after 0-3 WMY at WTT CS Chongqing 2024. Hirano's short game in G1 actually got her quite a few points. She should've stuck to it in deuce, like Harimoto said when thinking back on his QF match against LJK at WTTC 2023. The path to victory has presented itself. It comes down to her determination on the spot.

平野美宇、世界2位・王曼昱にストレート負けも「プレーは悪くなかった」 悔やんだデュースの攻防「勝ち切ることが足りなかった」【WTTチャンピオンズ 重慶】
https://spread-sports.jp/archives/276754
■緩急をつけたラリーに苦戦

平野は1回戦でディナ・メシュレフ(エジプト)相手にストレート勝ちを収め、伊藤美誠を下していた王曼昱相手に挑んだ。

第1ゲームは互角のラリー戦を展開し、終盤にかけて平野がリードを奪う場面も。しかし、王曼昱の粘り強い守備を崩すには至らず。デュースの末10-12でこのゲームを落とした。

続く第2ゲームは王曼昱の緩急をつけたラリーにタイミングが合わず、一方的な展開に。2-11で王手をかけられた平野は、第3ゲームも7-11で奪われ、ストレート負けで敗れることになった。

平野は試合後に、「中国のトップ選手だったので思い切っていく準備をしていて、自分のプレーは悪くなかった」とコメント。序盤の戦いには手応えを感じていたと明かした。

それでも、「相手の選手は技術が上なので、第1ゲーム目の最後の1点だったり、勝ち切ることが今日の自分では足りなかった」と振り返り、デュースであと1点が奪えなかった場面を悔やんだ。

日本女子は早田ひな(日本生命)、張本美和(木下グループ)がそれぞれ準々決勝進出を決めており、2日に孫穎莎、陳夢の中国勢とそれぞれ顔を合わせる。

※取材協力:WTT
■Struggling with rallies that vary in speed

Hirano won in straight games against Dina Meshref (Egypt) in the first round, and took on Wang Manyu, who had defeated Ito Mima.

The first game was a close battle of rally, with Hirano even taking the lead towards the end. However, she was unable to break Wang Manyu's tenacious defense. After a deuce, she lost the game 10-12.

In the second game, Hirano was unable to time Wang Manyu's rallies that vary in speed, and the game went one-sided. With Wang in checkmate at 2-11, she lost the third game 7-11 and lost in straight sets.

After the match, Hirano commented, "She was a top Chinese player, so I was prepared to go all out, and my play wasn't bad." She revealed that she felt confident in the early stages of the match.

Even so, she reflected, "My opponent had superior technique, so I wasn't good enough today to win, like the last point in the first game," and regretted not being able to get the last point at deuce.

Japan's women's players Hayata Hina (Nippon Life) and Harimoto Miwa (Kinoshita Group) have both advanced to the quarterfinals, and will face Chinese players Sun Yingsha and Chen Meng on the 2nd.

*Interview cooperation: WTT

https://www.tabletennisdaily.com/fo...-be-revamped-for-paris-2024.24977/post-460202
A transcript of Hirano's interview on the drop shot that she has worked on for 2 years in the episode of Hodo Station that aired on 2024/5/16.

卓球・平野美宇、中国勢止めるスレスレ「ストップ」習得…最大武器ドライブをより発揮
https://news.tv-asahi.co.jp/news_sports/articles/900002885.html

Video:
https://d000d.com/d/dw3vm8hvfd4y

https://youtu.be/xS3qaNASXNc?t=75
https://youtu.be/xS3qaNASXNc?t=104
https://youtu.be/xS3qaNASXNc?t=110
 
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Harimoto's interview with Spread after 3-0 A. Diaz at WTT CS Chongqing 2024. Speak of the devil, Harimoto says without determination nothing can be achieved even if you are capable of it.

「相手のペースに飲み込まれた」張本美和、完勝劇の裏にあった“反省点” 東京五輪金の陳夢には「難しい場面でも1球1球を見極める」【WTTチャンピオンズ 重慶】
https://spread-sports.jp/archives/276599
■世界12位相手にストレート勝ち

張本美はプエルトリコの難敵相手に的確なレシーブ、サービスが光り序盤から相手を支配。ディアスに首をかしげるシーンが見られるなど、試合を通して張本美のペースで試合は進み、11-4、11-6、11-8でそれぞれのゲームをものにして完勝を収めた。

張本美は試合後に、「1回戦の試合で相手のペースに飲み込まれてしまって1ゲーム目を落としてしまったのが反省点だった」とコメント。第1ゲーム目を失った鄭怡静(台湾)との戦いを振り返りつつ、「今日は準備でしっかりイメージトレーニングをして、試合に臨めた部分が1番良かったと思いますし、戦術も過去に3度試合をしていて戦術を立てて臨めたので良かったと思います」とディアス相手の勝利には手応えを明かした。

これで準々決勝に勝ち進んだ張本美だが、待ち受けるのが世界ランキング3位の陳夢(中国)。東京五輪のシングルス金メダリストは、パリ五輪でもシングルス出場を決め、張本美とは団体戦で対峙する可能性を残している。

張本美は翌日に控えた大一番に対し、「1番大事なのは強気で向かっていく気持ち。どの戦術をやるにしても、気持ちの部分で強くして臨まないと本当はできるものもできないものになってしまう」とメンタルの重要性を説き、「難しい場面になっても落ち着いて1球1球を見極められるように頑張りたいです」と経験豊富な相手との戦い方を口にした。

※取材協力:WTT
■Straight win against world No. 12

Harimoto Miwa dominated her opponent from the beginning with her accurate reception and serve against a tough opponent from Puerto Rico. She was seen shaking her head at Diaz, and the match proceeded at Harimoto Miwa's pace throughout the match, winning each game 11-4, 11-6, and 11-8.

After the match, Harimoto Miwa commented, "In the first round match, I was swept up in my opponent's pace and lost the first game, which was something I regret." Looking back on her match against Cheng Yi-Ching (Taiwan), in which she lost the first game, she said, "I think the best thing about today's match was that I did a lot of image training in preparation and went into the match, and I think it was good that I was able to go into the match with a strategy that I've played three times before." She was pleased with her victory against Diaz.

With this, Harimoto Miwa advanced to the quarterfinals, but waiting for her was Chen Meng (China), ranked No. 3 in the world. The Tokyo Olympics singles gold medalist has also qualified to compete in the singles event at the Paris Olympics, leaving open the possibility of facing Harimoto Miwa in a team match.

Regarding the big match coming up the next day, Harimoto Miwa stressed the importance of mentality, saying, "The most important thing is to approach it with a strong attitude. Whatever tactics you use, if you don't approach it with a strong mindset, you won't be able to do what you could actually do." She also spoke about how she will play against an experienced opponent, saying, "Even in difficult situations, I will do my best to stay calm and assess each ball."

*Interview cooperation: WTT
 
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Harimoto's interview with Spread after 1-3 CM at WTT CS Chongqing 2024.

「今日が1番良かった」張本美和、東京五輪金・陳夢相手に敗戦も手応え “反省材料”明かすも「戦術もすべて出し切った」【WTTチャンピオンズ 重慶】
https://spread-sports.jp/archives/276911
■各国エースを撃破で迎えた大一番

張本美はパリ五輪の団体戦で対戦の可能性がある陳夢との大一番。

第1ゲームを奪われ、第2ゲームはデュースの末落とす。後のなくなった状態で第3ゲームをものにしたが、陳夢の壁を崩しきれずに第4ゲームを落とした。

張本美は「陳夢選手と4回目の対戦で正直今日が一番良かった」と手応えを感じた様子。「試合の前に自分が準備していたものや、戦術もすべて出し切った」と充実感を表した。

それでも、「まだ足りないのは事実で、今日の目標だった2ゲーム以上をとるというのが達成できなかった」と反省材料についても言及し、「まだパリ五輪まで試合も練習もあるので切り替えて頑張ります」と前を向いた。

張本美は女子では早田ひな(日本生命)と並び、日本勢最高位のベスト8入りと奮闘を見せた。

※取材協力:WTT
■The big match after defeating the top players from each country

Harimoto Miwa is facing Chen Meng, whom she may face in the team match at the Paris Olympics.

She lost the first game and then lost the second game after a deuce. With no other options, she won the third game, but was unable to break down Chen Meng's wall and lost the fourth game.

Harimoto Miwa said, "To be honest, today was the best of my four matches against Chen Meng." She expressed her satisfaction, saying, "I gave it my all, using all the tactics and preparations I had made before the match."

However, she also mentioned some things to reflect on, saying, "It's true that I still have a lot to learn, and I wasn't able to achieve my goal of winning more than two games today." She then looked ahead, saying, "There are still matches and practice sessions until the Paris Olympics, so I'll switch gears and do my best."

Harimoto Miwa, along with Hayata Hina (Nippon Life), showed her fighting spirit by making it into the best eight, the highest ranking for a Japanese player in the women's competition.

*Interview cooperation: WTT

東京五輪金・陳夢と激闘の張本美和が最大の収穫「正直4回目の対戦で……」 パリでの団体金を狙う“最強トリオ”の現在地【WTTチャンピオンズ重慶】
https://spread-sports.jp/archives/277198

It appears Miwa has added some substantial supination to her BH now. Very visible. Took a page from Szocs?

Didn't work well if not at all. Will have to decide whether to give it another try or 2.

It seems she dumped it in the middlegame of G2 and instead turned to a FH-oriented game with BH for transitioning.

Her dad is better at calling TO now. She needs it. Too many past matches lost due to lack of guidance at crucial times.

Still immature in the endgame against core CNT players. Losing tons of points on BH. Gotta find a way to use the FH more even if CM won't let her.

CM is visibly strained here as her hair is coming undone. In less significant tournaments, her untuned state, especially in terms of mental strength, can no longer sustain this level of intensity as well as a few years ago.

With less than 2 months to go, how far can Miwa reach? BH will be the biggest issue. Speed is another, which has not been her strength. Her BH has always been geared toward spin but doing it like how Szocs does it failed this time.

https://www.tabletennisdaily.com/forum/topics/wtt-champions-chongqing-2024.34066/post-462052
CNT will enter the month-long closed training session. Top 2 WS seeds secured by a wide margin.

Hirano in that poor form beat Shi Xunyao at WTT CT Taiyuan 2024 and those points are crucial, whereas Harimoto failed or perhaps she passed off the chance to Hirano instead?

Harimoto beating WYD at World Cup 2024 more than made up for it, but other than that, there is still a lot of work to do...

Hayata taking on 3 events looks slightly better than Ito did in the last cycle, yet her odds of equaling Ito in XD and WS are currently lower because Ito enjoyed host advantage.
 
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I think Hayata used game 3 to test out new serves. Her backhand serve in its current form shouldn't be used. It's too high, not enough spin, and easily attackable which both Lily and SYS had no problems doing. But I don't think she should abandon the BH serve completely as it's a good variation to add. She should get training from either Sato or Hashimoto who do a very effective high toss with heavy under or a kick serve from a similar motion. Her tomahawk on the FH side was actually pretty effective. I really like that serve for her as it set her up well to get the advantage in the rallies. During ralllies, if she can consistently vary the placement and get SYS to stretch she can win the point. Also, need to better judge amount of incoming spin as some of her balls are going long. The one thing she can't do is get pushed back much more than 1.5 m from the table because beyond that SYS has her on a string.
 
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Miwa's brother's interview with Spread after 3-2 Assar at WTT CS Chongqing 2024.

https://spread-sports.jp/archives/276462
■五輪までの練習期間は実質1カ月
パリ五輪に向けて

練習する期間よりはこうやって試合をする機会が多くて、先週はブラジルでしたし、来週もヨーロッパに行くので、五輪までしっかり練習できるのはもう合わせて1カ月あるかないかくらいです。

ランキングのポイントと、練習して強くなる期間、それを天秤にかけてバランスよくやっていくしかない。
中国選手に比べて自分の立ち位置は

もちろん彼らの方が高いですし、僕の方がランキングも実力も低いことは否めない。それはここ数年ずっとその状況だった。

中国を超えた選手はまだ誰もいない。五輪までの間に練習してきたことやその日の調子、運もありますし、全てがかみ合わないと中国に勝つことはできない。彼らが一番金メダルに近くて強い存在なのは間違いないです。
WTT重慶の目標

目標は一つでも上に行くことで何位かは決まってないですけど、この大会出る意味はランキングのポイントを稼ぐことです。

今日も勝ってちょっと稼げましたけど、明日(6月1日)勝って、明後日と1つずつポイントを取って五輪を少しでもいい位置で迎えられるようにこの大会に出ている。1つでも多く勝つのがこの大会の目標です。
■Only one month to practice until the Olympics

Towards the Paris Olympics

I have more opportunities to play matches like this than to practice, and I went to Brazil last week, and I'm going to Europe next week, so I only have about a month in total to practice properly until the Olympics.

I have to balance the ranking points with the time to practice and get stronger.

Compared to the Chinese athletes

Of course, they are higher, and I can't deny that I am lower in both ranking and ability. That has been the situation for the past few years.

No players have surpassed China yet. It depends on what you have practiced before the Olympics, how you feel on that day, and luck, and you can't beat China unless everything comes together. There is no doubt that they are the strongest and closest to the gold medal.


Goals for WTT Chongqing

My goal is to go up at least one place, and I haven't decided what place I will be, but the point of participating in this tournament is to earn ranking points.

I won today and made some money, but I'm participating in this tournament so that I can win tomorrow (June 1st) and get one point each the day after, and be in a better position to face the Olympics. My goal in this tournament is to win as many matches as possible.
 
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Miwa's brother's interview with Spread after 1-3 FZD at WTT CS Chongqing 2024. Determination again.

張本智和、世界4位の樊振東に「惜しい試合」もベスト8敗退 「唯一のチャンス」と振り返った“中国の壁”攻略のポイント【WTTチャンピオンズ重慶】
https://spread-sports.jp/archives/277064
■2度目の五輪控える男子エース

前日は世界ランク7位の林昀儒(台湾)を下して日本男子唯一のベスト8入りした張本智。

パリ五輪代表の樊振東と対したなか、第1ゲームを失い、第2ゲームでは8-2のリードで優位に立つもデュースの末逆転される。第3ゲームを11-6でものにし意地を見せたが、反撃もここまでとなり、第4ゲームを7-11で奪われ敗退した。

張本智は、「惜しいといえば惜しい試合」とリードした時間もありながらの試合を振り返る。

「(第2ゲーム、第4ゲームに)自分が変わってしまったのか、相手が思い切って来たのか。要因はなんとなく分かっていても試合を見返さないと分からない」と語りつつ、「何かが変わったのは変わらないので、リードした時のようなプレーを続けることが中国に勝つ唯一のチャンスかなと思います」と中国の壁攻略のポイントに言及した。

2カ月後には自身2度目の出場となるパリ五輪も控えるなか、日本男子のエースはベスト8で今大会を終えた。

※取材協力:WTT
■Men's ace preparing for his second Olympic Games

The previous day, Harimoto Tomokazu defeated Lin Yun-Ju (Taiwan), ranked 7th in the world, to become the only Japanese man to make it into the quarterfinal.

Facing Fan Zhendong, who represented Japan at the Paris Olympics, he lost the first game, and in the second game he was leading 8-2, but was overtaken after a deuce. He showed his determination by winning the third game 11-6, but his fightback ended there, and he lost the fourth game 7-11 and was defeated.

Harimoto Tomokazu reflected on the match, even though he had a lead for some time, saying, "It was a close match, if you want to call it that."

"Did I change (in the second and fourth games) or did my opponent take a bold step? I can kind of guess what the reason is, but I won't know until I watch the match again," he said, referring to the key to defeating China's wall, saying, "Something has changed, so I think the only chance we have to beat China is to continue playing like we did when we were leading."


With his second appearance at the Paris Olympics looming in just two months, Japan's top player finished the tournament in the quarterfinals.

*Interview cooperation: WTT
 
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Hirano's interview with Spread after 3-0 Meshref at WTT CS Chongqing 2024.

平野美宇、対戦決定の世界2位・王曼昱相手には「下克上を起こせるように準備したい」 パリ五輪を前に東京との違いにも言及【WTTチャンピオンズ 重慶】
https://spread-sports.jp/archives/276481
■対中国を警戒も早田らに言及

パリ五輪に向けて

東京五輪の時と違い、試合がたくさんある状況なので、今は試合の中で修正していく。そういう感じでパリに向けてはやっていきたい。

中国選手に比べて自分の位置は

中国選手の代表選手はとても強いですが、自分の位置には中国選手以外にも早田(ひな)選手やシン・ユビン選手がいる。

ほかの海外選手も自分より世界ランクが上の人たちがたくさんいるので、まずはその選手たちに追いつけるように頑張りたい

WTT重慶の目標

まずはチャンピオンズの大会で勝つことができなかったので、1回でも勝つことが目標だった。

この1回戦に勝って次は王曼昱選手か伊藤選手という自分より世界ランクが上の選手と試合をすることになるので、ここで下克上を起こせるように明日の試合までしっかり準備したい。
※王曼昱が伊藤に3-0で勝利
■Wary of China, also mention of Hayata and others

Towards the Paris Olympics

Unlike the Tokyo Olympics, there are many matches, so now I will make adjustments during the matches. That is how I want to approach Paris.

My position compared to the Chinese players

The Chinese national team is very strong, but there are other players in my position, such as Hayata (Hina) and Shin Yubin.

There are many other overseas players who are ranked higher than me, so I want to do my best to catch up with them first.


Goals for WTT Chongqing

First of all, I was unable to win in the Champions tournament, so my goal was to win at least once.

If I win this first round, I will next face players who are ranked higher than me, such as Wang Manyu or Ito, so I want to prepare well for tomorrow's match so that I can make an upset here.

※Wang Manyu beat Ito 3-0

平野美宇、世界2位・王曼昱との大一番 前日には“下克上宣言”、伊藤美誠をストレートで撃破の強敵に勝利なるか【WTTチャンピオンズ 重慶】
https://spread-sports.jp/archives/276679
 
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Togami's interview with Spread after 0-3 Ovtcharov at WTT CS Chongqing 2024.

戸上隼輔、初出場のパリ五輪は「50%は楽しみで50%は不安」 中国選手に対しては「安定感、技術、レベルがまだ達していない」【WTTチャンピオンズ 重慶】
https://spread-sports.jp/archives/276249
■元世界1位の壁を崩せず

戸上は世界ランキングを19位まで上げて今大会に挑んだ。元世界ランキング1位のオフチャロフを相手に、第1ゲームは圧倒され4-11で落とす。

続く第2ゲームは競り合い展開も増え、戸上の時間帯も作ったが、9-11で惜しくも落とすと、第3ゲームでもオフチャロフの壁を崩すことができずにストレート負けを喫した。

戸上は試合後パリ五輪について「50%は楽しみで50%は不安、パリ五輪に出場できるのは自分の人生にとって楽しみの一つなんですけど、試合では不安というのが大きい」と正直な想いを明かした。

また、本大会では最大のライバルとして立ちはだかる中国選手との差については、「今の時点ではレベルが低い。安定感がだったり、技術、レベルがまだまだ達してないと思っている」と語った。

戸上は夏のパリ五輪でシングルス、団体メンバーに名を連ねている。自身初の大舞台へ最終調整に入っていく。
※取材協力:WTT
■Unable to break the wall of former World No. 1

Togami had risen to 19th in the world ranking and took on this tournament. He was overwhelmed in the first game against former World No. 1 Ovtcharov, losing 4-11.

In the second game, the match became more competitive and Togami had some time to play, but he unfortunately lost 9-11. In the third game, he was unable to break Ovtcharov's wall and lost in straight games.

After the match, Togami honestly revealed his thoughts about the Paris Olympics, saying, "I'm 50% excited and 50% anxious. Being able to participate in the Paris Olympics is one of the things I'm looking forward to in my life, but I'm very anxious about the match."

Regarding the difference between him and the Chinese player who will be his biggest rival in this tournament, he said, "At the moment, my level is low. I think I still need to reach a level where I'm stable, skilled, and at a high level."

Togami is a member of the singles and team events at the Paris Olympics in the summer. He is now making final preparations for his first big stage.
*Interview cooperation: WTT
 
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