Koki Niwa (丹羽 孝希, Niwa Kōki, born 10 October 1994) is a Japanese male table tennis player. He is the gold medalist at the 2010 Youth Olympics and he won the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in 2010 (doubles) and 2011 (singles).
Niwa at the 2013 World Championships
|Born||10 October 1994|
Tomakomai, Hokkaido, Japan
|Playing style||Left-handed, shakehand grip|
|Equipment(s)||BH: Victas V > 15 Extra, FH: Victas V > 15 Extra, Blade: TSP Swat Power|
|Highest ranking||5 (Nov. 2017)|
|Current ranking||15 (January 2020)|
|Club||Kinoshita Meister Tokyo|
|Height||1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||51 kg (112 lb)|
Since 2012 he has been playing for the German Team TTC matec Frickenhausen.
He won the 2014 Russian Open singles title.
Niwa had a prolific junior career beginning in 2008. He reached the quarter-finals at the 2008 India Junior Open in Pune, India, and won the doubles title with his partner Yuki Hirano. At the 2008 World Junior Championships in Madrid, Spain, he parterned with Kenta Matsudaira to reach the semi-finals. The following year, Niwa partnered with Asuka Machi to win the 2009 ITTF Cadet Challenge and ITTF Junior Circuit Finals in Tokyo, Japan.
At the 2009 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, Niwa reached the quarterfinals in the men's singles event before being defeated by Lin Gaoyuan. Niwa qualified for the 2009 World Table Tennis Championships in Yokohama, Japan by defeating Josef Simoncik in the qualification tournament. Niwa reached the round of 64 before being defeated by Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
At the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics, he won a gold medal in the Boy's Singles Event, and a gold medal partnering Ayuka Tanioka in the Mixed team event. Niwa won the U21 title at the 2011 Dortmund Pro Tour German Open by defeating Kim Min-seok. At the 2011 Incheon Pro Tour Korea Open, he defeated Jeoung Youngsik to obtain his second U21 title that year. At the 2011 Manama World Junior Table Tennis Championships, he won the gold medal in the men's singles event, defeating Lin Gaoyuan of China.
By 2012, the 17 year old world junior champion was gaining widespread attention. His breakthrough came at the 2012 Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament where he overcame world ranked No. 1 Ma Long and became the inaugural Asian player in the sport to qualify for the Olympics. Partnering with Kenta Matsudaira, Niwa overcame the Chinese pair of Wang Hao and Zhou Yu to win the 2012 World Tour Polish Open doubles title.
Niwa qualified for the 2013 World Table Tennis Championships seeded 15. He reached the fourth round in the men's singles event before being defeated by Ma Long. He partnered Kenta Matsudaira in the doubles event and reached the third round before losing to compatriots Jun Mizutani and Seiya Kishikawa. At the 2013 World Tour Japan Open in Yokohama, the Niwa/Matsudaira pair lost in the finals against compatriots Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura.
2014: First ITTF World Tour TitleEdit
At the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo, Niwa won 4 out of his 5 matches, contributing to Team Japan's bronze medal. At the 2014 World Tour Grand Finals in Bangkok, the Niwa/Matsudaira pair lost in the final to Korean pair Cho Eonrae and Seo Hyundeok. Niwa won the 2014 World Tour Russian Open title in the men's singles event, defeating England's Paul Drinkhall in the final. The Niwa/Matsudaira pair competed in the semi-finals and were defeated by the Russian pair Fedor Kuzmin and Grigory Vlasov.
At the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships, Niwa reached the 4th round before being defeated by China's Fan Zhendong. In the doubles event, the Niwa/Matsudaira pair reached the semi-finals, and were defeated by Fan Zhendong and Zhou Yu. This was the last international partnership with Kenta Matsudaira.
At the 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lampur, Niwa contributed to Team Japan's success in winning the silver medal. The team lost to Team China in the final. Niwa represented Japan at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the men's singles event. He reached the quarterfinals before being defeated by eventual silver medalist Zhang Jike. In the Men's team event, Niwa contributed to team Japan's first silver medal in the category. However, Niwa expressed discontentment with his performance, not winning any singles matches.
Niwa began the year by winning a bronze medal at the 2017 ITTF Asian Championships in Wuxi, China. In the quarterfinals, he defeated world ranked #3 Xu Xin, but lost to Korea's Jeong Sangeun in the semi-finals. At the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships, Niwa partnered with Maharu Yoshimura to win the bronze medal. The Niwa/Yoshimura pair reached the semi-finals where they lost to Chinese pairing and eventual champions Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin in the men's singles event, he reached the quarter finals, defeating Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the fourth round, and losing to Fan Zhendong in the quarterfinals. At the 2017 World Tour Japan Open, the Niwa/Yoshimura pair reached the finals of the men's doubles event where they lost to the Chinese pairing of Ma Long and Xu Xin.
Niwa / MatsudairaEdit
Niwa and Kenta Matsudaira were doubles partners from 2008 to 2015. Their playstyle is characterized by both players' unorthodox playstyles, with Niwa frequently incorporating "chiquita" banana flicks and Matsudaira frequently using his tomahawk service. Both players frequently use their backhand to win points.
The pair first competed in the international scene at the 2008 Cetniewo Polish Youth Open. In 2012, they defeated the Chinese pairing of Wang/Zhou to secure their first men's doubles titles in the ITTF world tour scene. The pair won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships. Niwa and Matsudaira have not partnered on the international scene since 2015.
Niwa / YoshimuraEdit
Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura have been frequent doubles partners starting in 2016. The pairing first rose to prominence at the 2016 Summer Olympics Men's Team Event where the pair contributed to Japan's silver medal. At the 2017 Asian Championships in Wuxi, the pair reached the semifinals before losing to Fan Zhendong/Lin Gaoyuan. At the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships Men's Doubles event, the pair won a joint bronze medal. The following month, at the 2017 World Tour Japan Open, Niwa/Yoshimura reached the finals before losing to Ma Long/Xu Xin in three straight games.
Niwa vs. Chen Chien AnEdit
Niwa and Chen have met 9 times in the international scene, with Niwa leading 5--4. Their first encounter was at the 2009 Harmony China Open where Niwa won 4 games to 1. They met another two times at the 2011 Harmony China Open where Chen defeated Niwa in the U21 Men's singles final, and Niwa defeated Chen in the Men's singles main bracket. In their most recent encounter, Chen won 4 games to 2 over Niwa at the 2017 Asian Cup main tournament bracket, and Niwa won 3 games to 0 in the group stage.
Niwa vs. Kim Min-seokEdit
Niwa and Kim have met 10 times with Niwa leading 6--4. Their first encounter was at the 2009 Korea Open U21 Men's singles event where Niwa won in full games. Niwa and Kim have met 3 times in the semi-final stages of U21 pro tour events. At the 2011 Pro Tour Germany Open U21 Men's singles final, Niwa won in full games over Kim. Their most recent encounter was in 2015 where Niwa won 4 games to 1 at the 2015 World Tour China Open.
Niwa vs. Lin GaoyuanEdit
Niwa and Lin Gaoyuan have met 5 times with Lin leading 3--2. In their first encounter, Lin won in full games at the 2009 World Junior Table Tennis Championships. At the 2011 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, Niwa took revenge against Lin and won 4 games to 2 to win the tournament. The 2017 Seamaster World Tour Platinum Austria Open marked the first time in 6 years that the two had met. Lin won 4 games to 1 over Niwa.
ITTF Major tournament performance timelineEdit
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (S) Singles Tournament; (D) Doubles Tournament; (MD) Mixed Doubles Tournament; (T) Team Tournament.
|World Tour Grand Finals||S||1R||1R||QF||1R||1R||1R||1R|
ITTF Career Singles Finals: 1Edit
|Win||November, 2014||Airports of Regions Russian Open;
|World Tour||Paul Drinkhall||12-14, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7|
ITTF Career Doubles Finals: 10Edit
ITTF Junior & U21 Singles Titles: 8Edit
|1.||July 2008||Tahiti Junior Open, French Polynesia||Junior Circuit Cadet Boys||Asuka Machi||11-9, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7|
|2.||July 2008||Tahiti Junior Open, French Polynesia||Junior Circuit Junior Boys||Yuki Hirano||11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 7-11|
|3.||November 2008||Cadet Challenge & Junior Circuit Finals||Junior Boys||Assar Omar||11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8|
|4.||March 2010||German Open||Pro Tour U21||Hiromitsu Kasahara||11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5|
|5.||October 2010||JOOLA Hungarian Open, Hungary||Pro Tour U21||Liu Yanan||11-4, 11-1, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9|
|6.||February 2011||German Open, Germany||Pro Tour U21||Kim Min-seok||9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6|
|7.||June 2011||KRA Korea Open, Korea||Pro Tour U21||Jung Young-sik||11-5, 11-7, 9-11,9-11,6-11,11-7|
|8.||November 2011||Volkswagen World Junior Table Tennis Championships, Bahrain||Junior Boys||Lin Gaoyuan||3-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-9|
ITTF Junior & U21 Doubles Titles: 5Edit
Record against top-10 playersEdit
Niwa's match record against those who have been ranked in the top 10, with those who have been No. 1 in bold:
- Dimitrij Ovtcharov: 1–5
- Fan Zhendong: 0–6
- Timo Boll: 0–2
- Lin Gaoyuan: 2–3
- Xu Xin: 2–1
- Ma Long: 1–6
- Wong Chun Ting: 1–1
- Simon Gauzy: 2–1
- Kenta Matsudaira: 2–2
- Jun Mizutani: 1–1
- Tomokazu Harimoto: 2–2
- Lee Sang-su: 4–1
- Jung Young-sik: 3–1
- Joo Sae-hyuk: 0–1
- Marcos Freitas: 3–2
- Chuang Chih-yuan: 0–7
- Fang Bo: 0–1
- Vladimir Samsonov: 0–1
- Zhang Jike: 1–2
- Gao Ning: 3–1
- Yan An: 1–3
Wins over top 10 playersEdit
|1.||Ma Long||1||April 2012||Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament||F||8-11,11-4,11-8,12-10, 5-11, 11-9||19|
|2.||Yan An||8||August 2013||World Tour Harmony Open, China||4R||7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 5-11, 13-11||18|
|3.||Jun Mizutani||5||November 2014||World Tour Airports of Regions Russian Open, Russia||SF||11-6,11-4, 11-9, 11-8||15|
|4.||Xu Xin||2||March 2015||GAC Group Asian Cup||11-6, 2-11, 11-5, 12-10||12|
|5.||Wong Chun Ting||8||August 2016||Summer Olympics||4R||6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8||22|
|6.||Zhang Jike||4||February 2017||World Tour Platinum Qatar Open||2R||11-1, 11-0, 11-0, 11-0||19|
|7.||Xu Xin||3||April 2017||2017 Asian Championships||QF||12-10, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7||13|
|8.||Dimitrij Ovtcharov||5||June 2017||World Table Tennis Championships||4R||11-13. 11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9||11|
- "卓球・丹羽孝希選手が地元苫小牧に オープン大会に参戦". Tomakomai Minpo. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
- "ITTF World ranking Record for NIWA Koki (JPN)". ITTF. Archived from the original on 28 September 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- "Athlete's Profile". 2014 Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee. Archived from the original on 2 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "ITTF players' profiles". ITTF. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- "ITTF Database". ITTF. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- "Man for the Big Occasion, Koki Niwa Beats Ma Long, Secures Olympic Place". ittf.com. 21 April 2012. Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- . olympic.org. Retrieved on 8 October 2017.
-  ittf.com. Retrieved 8 October 2017
-  shueisha.co.jp. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
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