Australia’s Jian Fang Lay powered to victory at the 2017 Oceania Cup to put herself among a list of 20 of the top women table tennis players in the world, all seeking world cup victory. In just a matter of weeks the veteran player will compete in the 2017 Uncle Pop Women’s World Cup presented by Polar Naturals, held in Downtown Markham, Canada.
A normal table tennis fan may be mesmerized by Jian’s unique style, a true table tennis fan would be in awe of the amount of skill and variation in her game. Jian Fang Lay could be described as a twiddling master, with long pimple rubber on one side and regular inverted rubber on the other. With her penhold traditional style she never plays off the back side of her racket, instead choosing to flip her racket between her fingers, changing from smooth to pimple rubber inbetween shots with lightning speed and precision.
What results is a confusing array of extreme variation from chop blocks to topspin counters. Yes, Jian Fang Lay is one difficult player to face off with and with the amount of experience she has gained she has the mental prowess and tactical ability to match.
Jian is one of only 3 Australian women athletes to have competed in 5 Olympic Games, an outstanding feat, she has also won 7 medals at the coveted Commonwealth Games. She currently sits at a world ranking of 113 but, not being regularly exposed to international competition, her style and skill are always ready to cause upset. She held a peak world ranking of 67, certainly putting her among the top female competitors ever to hail from the Oceania region.
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Above you can see some of her skill being exhibited in this 2015 World Cup match with Austria’s Liu Jia. Particularly in the second game where her constant twiddling causes a headache for her opponent.
Come October 27 she will certainly be focused on qualifying for the main draw, flying the Oceania flag and looking to do some damage in a strong field of competitors.
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