October: Liu Shiwen

Liu Shiwen - photo by the ITTF– photo provided courtesy of the ITTF

Liu Shiwen is SD Sport’s spotlight feature for October, after she regained her place as the World No.1.

Liu was born in Liaoning (China) in 1991, but moved to Guangzhou aged seven to improve her table tennis. She stepped onto the world stage in style taking the women’s singles title at the 2004 Portugal World Junior Table Tennis Challenge, and a few months later Liu won the girl’s team and doubles title in the World Junior Championships and¬†finished runner-up in the girl’s singles competition to Chang Chenchen.

China decided not to select Liu Shiwen for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but she performed well in the Chinese Super League winning 10/11 of her matches and in 2009 (aged 18) she claimed her first World Cup title following a 4-3 win over Guo Yue. With Liu progressing well she was put into the China side for the 2010 World Team Championships, but she failed to step up to the occasion losing both of her matches as Singapore shocked China to seal the title. Liu’s confidence took a huge hit after the Team Championships and she missed out on the 2012 London Olympic Games.

After the 2012 Olympics everything started to go to plan for Liu Shiwen, she won the 2012 Grand Finals (beating Ding Ning in the final), the 2013 World Cup and she won a silver medal at the 2013 World Championships.

In 2015 Liu Shiwen has won the: World Team Cup, World Championship women’s doubles title, Asian Cup, ITTF Polish Open and the World Cup. She is now the new World No.1 replacing Ding Ning at the top.

For more on Liu Shiwen visit her player profile

Kasumi Ishikawa vs Liu Shiwen (Women’s World Cup Final) – video kindly shared by the ITTF