CHINESE and Japanese players dominate the list of nominees for the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) Star Awards, to be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha on Thursday.
The ITTF honours its top performers and coaches at the annual Star Awards, which promises to be a night of glitz and glamour.
China’s Fan Zhendong and Ma Long are among the four nominees for the best men’s player, with Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Japan’s Jun Mizutani being the others.
Fan is the reigning World Cup champion besides being a member of the world title-winning team. He has also won two World Tour Super Series singles events.
Ma, on his part, has recorded a grand double — singles and team gold — at the Rio Olympics. He has also won two Super Series tournaments this year.
Mizutani clinched the singles bronze and team silver at Rio apart from being a member of the Japanese team which finished as runners-up at the World Championships. He had also topped the field at three World Tour events.
Japanese duo Hirano Miu and Ito Mima head the list in the women’s section, along with China’s Ding Ning and North Korea’s Kim Song-I.
Hirano is the reigning World Cup champion and also the winner of the Polish Open while Ito is the youngest player to win a medal at the Olympics, team bronze at Rio. She is also a silver medallist at the World Team Championships.
Ding had a fantastic year, winning a double at the Rio Olympics (singles and team gold) apart from the World Team Championship and two World Tour Super Series titles.
North Korean Kim was a bronze medallist at Rio. She also emerged as champion at the Pyongyang Open and was a semifinalist at World Team Championships.
Other awards to be given away include the breakthrough star, fair play star, best coach and best para players.