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Seamaster 2017 ITTF Qatar Open- MD and WD Champions

SEAMASTER ITTF WORLD TOUR QATAR OPEN

SUNDAY 26TH FEBRUARY

No stopping Shinkansen,  Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima at full speed

Top seeds, the Japanese combination of Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima justified their exalted position to win the Men’s Doubles title at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open in Doha on Sunday 26th February.

At the final hurdle, they overcame Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson, a pair whose journey had started in the preliminary tournament some four days earlier (9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9).

An intriguing final, name the favourites and even though one pair occupied the highest seeded position of all and the rivals were qualifiers, there was little to choose, four players of a very similar level were on duty.

The opening game in Japanese eyes was no doubt highway robbery; the Swedes were never ahead until the most important moment of all. They levelled at 9-all; then won the next two points to seize an early advantage.

Immediately Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, like injured tigers, responded; speed is their forte, that facet counted in the second game as they levelled matters.

Success gave an injection of confidence; the quicker to attack, the quicker to seize the opportunity, Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima won the first five points of the third game. They were in the fast lane; in no time to draw breath, a one-nil deficit had been turned to a two-one advantage. If any pair plays faster than Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, they would burn holes their shoes.

A fast start in each previous game, it was the same in the fourth; they went ahead 4-3; understandably the Swedes called “Time Out”. The quest was to find a way to halt the Shinkansen, the Japanese bullet train.

Credit to the Swedes, they caused the Japanese train to slow down, they went ahead 7-6 but at 10-9 it was match point to Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima; at the first attempt the chance was seized.

Success for Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima meant that they maintained their perfect record of once reaching an ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles final, they always win.

They have now appeared in six title deciding contests and they have won all six.

Meanwhile, for Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson it was their third appearance in an ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles final. In Poland in 2015 they emerged successful but as today in Doha, in 2012 in the Czech Republic they had to settle for the second step of the medal podium.

It is the 17th time that Japan has secured the top step of an ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles podium.

SEAMASTER ITTF WORLD TOUR QATAR OPEN

SUNDAY 26TH FEBRUARY

Chen Meng and Wang Manyu upset top seeds to secure top prize

China’s Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, combining for the first time as a partnership on the international scene, emerged as the winners of the Women’s Doubles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open in Doha on the afternoon of Sunday 26th February.

Not seeded, they overcame the top seeded Korean combination of Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun (11-4, 11-6, 4-11, 11-6) to claim the top prize.

Consistency, staying close to the table, Chen Meng and Wang Manyu imposed their authority on proceedings from the very first point; intentions were made clear, there was a task to be completed and to be completed in a clinical fashion.

They secured the first game, the success settled nerves; gaining in confidence they won the first six points of the second; attacking play from the Koreans was absorbed, angles created and turned to advantage.

Two games to nil in arrears, the Korean duo mounted a recovery; they captured the third as Chen Meng and Wang Manyu made more errors than in the first two games put together.

Conversely Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun eradicated the errors of the first two games; however, it was to be only brief respite. In the fourth game, Chen Meng and Wang Manyu established a 5-2 lead; the Korean duo called “Time Out”, they levelled at 6-all but never held the advantage.

Chen Meng and Wang Manyu were not be denied, at 10-6 they held match point; the opportunity was seized.

It was for Jeon Jihee the 13th time they had appeared as a partnership in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles final; it was the sixth time they had experienced defeat.

A first final as a partnership for Chen Meng and Wang Manyu but they were not without experience of the occasion. At the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour Korean Open, Wang Manyu had partnered Chen Ke to success; the pair beating Japan’s Miu Hirano and Mima Ito in the final.

Meanwhile, for Chen Meng, it was her seventh success in eight finals; previously she had won in partnership with Zhu Yuling on four occasions plus once with Liu Shiwen and once with Mu Zi. The only defeat in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles final for Chen Meng was in Austria in 2013 when partnering Zhu Yuling, she was beaten by colleagues Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia.

Notably it was the 110th time that a Chinese partnership had stood tall on the podium when and ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles event had concluded.