China’s Fan Zhendong and Ma Long, alongside Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, booked their places in the semi-finals of the men’s singles event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, following success Wednesday 28th July in the Metropolitan Gymnasium.
On debut, Lin Yun-Ju through to the men's singles semi-finals
Likewise, Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha, also from China, progressed according to status, as did the host nation’s Mima Ito.
However, just as one day earlier, the player centre stage, the player to steal the show was Singapore’s Yu Mengyu. The no.26 seed, at the quarter-final stage she overcame Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.5 seed (8-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-6, 11-2), to book her last four place.
An upset but past results suggests otherwise; since their first encounter at the 2007 ITTF World Tour Brazil Open in Belo Horizonte, Yu Mengyu and Kasumi Ishikawa have now met 16 times in international events. Following the contest in Tokyo, it is now eight wins each.
Impressive from Yu Mengyu, it was the same from the top three names at the quarter-final stage of the women’s singles event.
Chen Meng, the top seed, beat Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the no.8 seed (6-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-1, 11-8) and thus maintained tradition. In all four international meetings, Chen Meng has won in six games!
Later in the day, Sun Yingsha proved too consistent for the defensive skills of Han Ying (GER), the no.12 seed (11-8, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6); Mima Ito, the no.3 seed, used her speed to good effect to overcome Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee, the no.7 seed (11-5, 11-1, 12-10, 11-6).
Women’s singles: semi-finals
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles quarter-finals, Fan Zhendong, the top seed, accounted for Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik, the no.10 seed (12-10, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5); Ma Long, the no.2 seed, overcame Egypt’s Omar Assar, the no.28 seed (11-7, 11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 11-6).
Similarly, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, the no.5 seed, ended the ambitions of Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.18 seed (11-4, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6).
In the one remaining men’s singles quarter-final, Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.7 seed, halted the aspirations of Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.4 seed (7-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-2)
Men’s singles: semi-final
The semi-finals of the women’s singles will be played on Thursday 29th July followed by the bronze medal and gold medal matches; also, the men’s singles semi-finals will be played.
However, the bronze and gold medal men’s singles contests will be staged on Friday 30th July.
Editor: Ian Marshall
Photo Credit: ITTF