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Tie Yana (HKG)
Courtesy of Butterfly.tt
Why is it that Wang Liqin has won the Men’s Singles title at the World Championships on four occasions but despite ten attempts in the Men’s World Cup and two efforts in the Men’s Singles event at the Olympic Games; he has never clinched gold in either?
Conversely, why is it that Ma Lin has won the Men’s World Cup four times, achieved the distinction of being the only man to win Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Men’s Team gold medals at the Olympic Games but in eight tries has never won the Men’s Singles title at the World Championships?
Is there a reason and does a similar scenario apply to Hong Kong’s Tie Yana?
The singles events in the Olympic Games have a similarity with the World Cup events; in the World Cup, the tradition has been for the first stage to be played in groups with four players in each group.
Four groups in total the players finishing in first and second places progress to the quarter-finals. Therefore, the eventual champion will have played a total of six matches.
In the Olympic Games, the top 16 seeds enter proceedings in the third round; the odds are heavily stacked that the eventual champion will come from that group. Thus to win singles gold at an Olympic Games, a total of five matches is required.
Also, the atmosphere is very similar; a maximum of four tables for the World Cup, the same for the Olympic Games.
Compare that situation with the tradition of the World Championships where in the singles event proceedings start with well over 128 players and some 70 or more tables; a totally different animal.
It would seem that like Ma Lin, Tie Yana may prefer the more compact scenario when singles play is on the menu.
Currently, she stands at no.10 on the Women’s World Rankings, having reached a career high of no.3 in July 2006.
However, in Women’s Singles events at World Championships, she has never progressed beyond the round of the last 16 in five attempts despite her exalted rankings.
Conversely, time and again at the Women’s World Cup she has contested the latter stages; only once (Guangzhou 2009) has she not reached the quarter-finals and only on one further occasion (Hong Kong 2003) has she not finished in the top four.
The agony for Tie Yana is that she has never won the Women’s World Cup title.
On no less than four occasions (Guangzhou 2004, Urumqi 2006, Chengdu 2007, Kuala Lumpur 2010) she has finished in fourth place; twice she has concluded matters in third spot (Hangzhou 2004, Singapore 2011) and once the runner up (Kuala Lumpur 2008).
No title but even so an outstanding record.
Equally, her two Olympic Games appearances have endorsed the fact that the format is to her liking; in both Athens and Beijing she reached the quarter-final stage. On both occasions she was beaten by an eventual medalist.
In 2004 Korea’s bronze medal winning Kim Kyungah ended progress, in Beijing it was China’s silver medal winning Wang Nan.
At the London Olympic Games, Tie Yana will join forces with Jiang Huajun and Lee Ho Ching in the Women’s Team event; they are the no.5 seeds and Tie Yana is the pivotal player in the quest for honors.
In 2004 in Doha and two years later in Bremen she guided Hong Kong to the silver medal in the Women’s Team event at the LIEBHERR World Team Championships; whilst in Guangzhou in 2008 at the H.I.S. World Team Championships she steered Hong Kong to the bronze medal she did earlier this year in Dortmund.
Meanwhile in the Women’s Singles event, Tie Yana is the no.7 seed, she will enter proceedings in the third round; it would seem that may suit her and could she be the player to cause China problems?
If the mood is right and the trademark backhand is flowing; then she might just cause an upset.
In 2006 in Bremen at the LIEBHERR World Team Championships Hong Kong suffered a three-one defeat in the Women’s final at the hands of China; six years later in Dortmund it was the same result in the penultimate round.
On both occasions the Hong Kong winner was Tie Yana and in both tournaments she was the only female player to win a match against China.
In Bremen she beat Guo Yue, in Dortmund she accounted for Li Xiaoxia; both will be present in London!
2002 Korean Open: Women’s Singles winner
2003 Brazil Open: Women’s Singles winner
2004 Russian Open: Women’s Singles winner
2004 Olympic Games: Women’s Singles quarterfinalist
2004 Asian Cup: Women’s Singles winner
2005 Croatian Open: Women’s Singles winner
2006 Korean Open: Women’s Singles winner
2006 Chinese Taipei Open: Women’s Singles winner
2007 Brazil Open: Women’s Singles winner
2008 Women’s World Cup: Runner-up
2010 Hungarian Open: Women’s Singles winner
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