BEIJING, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese paddlers Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng have maintained their top positions on the latest ITTF world rankings released on Tuesday, while a huge shakeup has been witnessed in both the men's and women's categories due to the removal of the initial points.
Week 18 world rankings are the first to be released since the ITTF Executive Committee approved the latest proposition formulated by the World Ranking Working Group, with the primary changes being the removal of the initial points, extension of the validity of all points gained during 2021 senior events and restriction of the number of youth events counting towards the senior ranking.
Fan was joined by teammates Ma Long and Liang Jingkun in men's singles top three. Sweden's Truls Moregard, finalist at the 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships, has hit new height to No. 5. Darko Jorgic from Slovenia, who reached the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympic Games, has jumped to sixth, also a career high.
Nigeria's Quadri Aruna made it to top 10 in the world, becoming the first African paddler to have achieved the feat.
Other top 10 players are Hugo Calderano (Brazil), Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan), Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei) and Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany).
On the women's side, Chinese quartet Chen, Sun Yingsha, Wang Manyu and Wang Yidi claimed top four. They were followed by Japan's Hina Hayata, who jumped over compatriot Mima Ito to reach her career best position.
Doo Hoi Kem (Hong Kong, China), Han Ying (Germany), Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico) and Kasumi Ishikawa (Japan) came in seventh down to 10th respectively.
As the world ranking of a player is basically composed of the sum of the points of the best eight results achieved in the last 12 months, some young paddlers have leapfrogged on their positions, including China's Yuan Licen, Liu Dingshuo, Xiang Peng, Xue Fei and Lin Shidong in the men's category, and Liu Weishan, Fan Siqi, Kuai Man and Qi Fei on the women's side.
Some prominent names have suffered a slump on their world rankings. China's veteran penholder Xu Xin slid from men's No. 8 to No. 81, and world champion Liu Shiwen was placed in women's No. 85, compared to her 17th place in the previous edition. ■