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Day 2 -Lion 31st ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Yokohama 2018

Lion 31st ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Yokohama 2018

Saturday 7th April

 

 

Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling assert authority

Imposing performances, players who so far this year have shared the top spot on the World Rankings, duly progressed to the final of the Women’s Singles event at the Lion 31st ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Yokohama 2018 following success on Saturday 7th April.

Furthermore, China’s Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling, the current order in which they stand and thus the respective top two seeds, showed only minimal charity as the semi-final stage they continued their displays of sheer excellence.

One wondered if Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed, could dent the armour of the Japanese duo having started the tournament in rich vein of form, the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Open WoCmen’s Singles title under her belt and never troubled en route to the penultimate round in Yokohama.

Chen Meng supplied the answer; very much the complete player, responding at the crucial moments, a five games win was recorded (11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9).

Equally, in the opposite half of the draw, Zhu Yuling underlined her quality, the model of consistency, keeping one more ball on the table than your adversary, she overcame Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.5 seed, in an equally impressive manner (11-8, 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6).

Zhu Yuling and Cheng I-Ching now meet the decide third place, for fifth and sixth positions Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem meets Japan’s Miu Hirano; for seventh and eighth places Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Korea’s Suh Hyowon face each other.

In the play-off round Doo Hoi Kem, the no.9 seed, beat Chen Szu-Yu, the no.7 seed (6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5), Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed, accounted for Suh Hyowon, the no.6 seed (12-10, 11-6, 15-13, 3-11, 10-12, 11-3).

Although it is only the top three names who gain invitations to the Women’s World Cup to be staged later in the year in Chengdu, realistically, those finishing in the top eight places in Yokohama will gain invitations.

Play concludes on Sunday 8th April.

 

Rocky road but destination reached

A rocky road, not the smoothest, defeat en route but at the end of the day, the destination was reached; China’s Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan, the respective top two seeds, duly reserved their places in the Men’s Singles title deciding contest at the Lion 31st ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Yokohama 2018 following semi-final success on the evening of Saturday 7th April.

Both overcame Korean adversaries to ensure a repeat of last year’s final when the tournament was staged in the Indian city of Ahmedabad; Fan Zhendong accounted for Lee Sangsu, the no.4 seed (11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4), Lin Gaoyuan overcame Jeong Sangeun, the no.8 seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 16-14).

Defeat for Lee Sangsu but it does mean he can repeat his Ahmedabad finish, six months ago he finshed in third place and thus meets colleague Jeong Sangeun in the bronze medal decider.

Earlier in the day at the quarter-final stage, Jeong Sangeun had beaten the host nation’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.6 seed (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8), the 14 year old having on the opening day caused a sensation by overcoming 21 year old Fan Zhendong (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8); surely the first time in his career that the young man who heads the world rankings had lost to a younger player in an international tournament.

A quarter-final reverse for Tomokazu Harimoto when facing a lower ranked player but very soon he was back on court, back to winning ways and back to upsetting the global order. In the contests to determine places no.5 to no.8, he accounted for Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6) and now meets colleague, Koki Niwa in the determining contest. Most impressively Koki Niwa, the no.5 seed, accounted for Iran’s Nima Alamian, the no.13 seed (11-9, 11-8, 14-12, 11-9).

The results mean that although it is the top three names who are guaranteed a place in the Liebherr 2018 Men’s World Cup to be staged later this year in Paris, Lee Sangsu, Jeong Sangeun, Tomokazu Harimoto and Koki Niwa are realistically assured of invitations by virtue of their finish in Yokohama and their potential world ranking later in the year.

Proceedings conclude on Sunday 8th April.