USA's Amy Wang Closes in on Top Junior Honors

By Matt Hetherington | Jan. 15, 2019, 10:08 a.m. (ET)

USA's Amy Wang has become a permanent feature in the top 10 junior female table tennis players in the world in recent times, and this month she advanced even further on the top position - now the number 2 junior girl player in the world as of the 2019 January ITTF World Ranking. As she arrived at the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center in New Jersey over the weekend, it was a prime opportunity to catch up with her on a whirlwind 2018, most of it spent far away from home.

The young talent was away from school last year, focusing on the major international events around the globe, in particular the buildup to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, an event which she qualified for in December 2017 in Las Vegas. 

Apart from her many thrilling junior performances, Wang also became a regular pick for the US National Womens Team. She clutched an all important win early in the year against Egypt's Farah Abdel-Aziz to help the USA advance to the quarterfinals of the World Team Cup. Just months later she was part of the team which placed 13th at the World Team Championships, guaranteeing a place in division 1 in two years time. 

Her strong results in the junior events began with a quarterfinal appearance at the ITTF World Junior Circuit Grand Finals. She also picked up 4 medals at the Pan American Junior Championships, gold in the team event and three silvers, including a near miss in the girls singles event in the 7th against Adriana Diaz.

Time and time again she has shown her ability to compete with the best junior girls in the world, with one of her highlights being a top 8 finish at the Youth Olympic Games. In the quarterfinal she put up a brave fight against Romania's Andreea Dragoman, but fell short in 6 games. 

Wang has had many great achievements and her long term goal is to become a US Olympian, but is very aware of the challenges and is quick to evaluate her own performances. 

"There were some good moments in 2018, there were also some matches I wasn't too fond of, where I thought I could've done better. Overall I've had some great new experiences, especially being able to compete more at the senior level and in the bigger international tournaments," says Amy. 

The American teen still has time to reach out for the world number 1 ranking in junior, with a couple more years in the age division, and has already shown continued improvement and fearless play. At the World Junior Championships in Australia last year she held her nerve to win her match against China in the team quarterfinal, a feat not achieved by many. 

Wang has a calm and composed demeanor at the table, often passed off as nonchalant, but she is no player to be underestimated. Behind the cool and steady exterior is a calculated, tactful and precise player who has won countless medals in cadet and junior events around the globe already in her career.

With the momentum and skill she has, only time will tell if she reaches her long term goal of making the Olympics. 

Congratulations Amy on your new world ranking and we wish you the best for the 2019 season!