January 5, 2018

Jiang Fang Lay has made a giant leap up the world ranking list in the new year. (Photo: ITTF World)

The January ITTF world ranking list has seen some massive leaps forward for Oceania athletes.

As the region’s top ranked athlete, Australia’s Jian Fang Lay has moved to no.66 in the women’s list. The new ranking comes off the back of an impressive 2017 in which Lay won the ITTF-Oceania Cup, made the last 64 at the World Championships in Düsseldorf and made a main draw appearance at the Australian Open. It is the first time in more than a decade that Oceania has had an athlete within the top 70 in the world. Meanwhile, Melissa Tapper has rocketed up the rankings with a rise to no.195, after a previous ranking of no.404 in December 2017.

New Caledonia has the region’s third highest woman, with Solenn Danger making an appearance at no.247 after being unranked in the previous list. New Zealand and Fiji round out the top five women, with Natalie Paterson appearing at no.261 and Grace Yee close behind at no.265.

In the men’s world ranking, David Powell has made a career high appearance at no.119. The ranking comes after a solid year in which Powell won the ITTF-Oceania Cup and made a main draw appearance at the Australian Open. Teammate Kane Townsend also is making a career high showing at no.184.

Vanuatu’s Yoshua Shing is the next Oceania athlete on the list, coming in at no.265. With places usually dominated by athletes from Australia and New Zealand, it is a massive step forward for high performance development in Oceania. Shing’s ranking comes off his history making bronze medal at the 2017 ITTF-Oceania Cup.

Check out the full women’s list and men’s list.