Lily Zhang ranked No.2 in Cadet World Rankings
Courtesy of ITTF: Original Article Here
By: Katherine Garcia
On Sunday 23rd August 2009, Lily Zhang from the United States of America became the youngest player ever to win a singles crown on the ITTF Junior Circuit, when she won the Girls Singles crown in Laval at the Stag Canadian Open.
At the time she was 13 years and 68 days old, beating the existing record by 94 days.
On Sunday 30th August 2005, Chinas Xu Ke won the Boys Singles crown at the Taiyuan Junior Open, aged 13 years and 162 days.
Now, on Monday 3rd January 2011, surely Lily Zhang has etched her name once again in the history books of table tennis?
She appears at no.2 on the Cadet Girls World Ranking list for January 2011.
Surely, this is the highest world ranking achieved in living memory by a player who is not from a national association within the boundaries of the traditional powerhouses of Asia and Europe?
I suspect we have to go back some 75 years to find a comparison. when in 1936 Ruth Aarons won the Womens Singles title at the World Championships in Prague.
Certainly it must be the case in the computerised ranking era.
ITTF Development Programme
Furthermore, does the ranking herald the start of a new era for table tennis in the United States of America, a country considered in many circles as a sleeping giant in the sport.
In September, Glenn Tepper, the ITTF Executive Director for Development Programmes, conducted a very successful ITTF Level One Coaches Course and Coach Education Course in Colorado Springs.
Meanwhile, more recently, on Saturday 18th December 2010, the United States Table Tennis Association organised the Club Finals in Las Vegas, a tournament won by the very progressive India Community Center, from the Bay Area League of San Francisco.
Represented by Thounaojan Singh, Shen Hailong and Anal Kashyap and with Italys Massimo Costantini sitting courtside as the coach; they overcame the Maryland Table Tennis Club outfit of Cheng Yinghua, Nathan Hsu and Raghu Nadmichettu in the final.
Set to Grow
It was the second year the event had been staged and although small in numbers, the response from the clubs participating was very positive and it would seem that the event may well grow in both quantity and stature.
A new era for table tennis in the United States of America?
Possibly, in the words of American legend Bob Dylan, it seems The times they are a-changin.