Success for Japan, Shunsuke Togami and Hina Hayata won the first title to be decided at the WTT Star Contender Doha 2021 tournament, securing mixed doubles gold on Friday 24th September.
At the final hurdle they accounted for Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and Jeon Jihee (11-6, 3-11, 11-2, 11-8), the semi-final winners in opposition to compatriots, Lee Sangsu and Choi Hyojoo (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 12-14, 12-10).
Hard fought success for Jang Woojin and Jeon Jihee against colleagues, for Shunsuke Togami and Hina Hayata, their penultimate round success was somewhat of a surprise.
Hina Hayata and Shunsuke Togami, the mixed doubles winners
They accounted for Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem (11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6), one of the most prominent partnerships in recent years.
Notably, on the ITTF World Tour they won in 2019 in Busan and Geelong; in 2020 in Hungary as well as at the Grand Final in 2018 in Incheon.
Disappointment for Wong Chun Ting in the mixed doubles event, in the men’s singles, the news was no better; at the quarter-final stage he was beaten by England’s Liam Pitchford (11-4, 11-7, 13-11).
Liam Pitchford now meets Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the quarter-final winner against Frenchman, Simon Gauzy (8-11, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10); in the opposite half of the draw, Lee Sangsu opposes Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic.
Lee Sangsu reserved his last four place courtesy of success against Finland’s Benedek Olah (11-13, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7), Darko Jorgic ended the hopes of Croatia’s Andrej Gacina (12-10, 11-6, 11-9).
Somewhat differently, for Doo Hoi Kem, in the women’s singles there was progress.
She recovered from an opening game deficit to beat India’s Archana Girish Kamath (9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-6) and now opposes Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska, the last eight winner when facing Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi (11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 10-12, 11-7).
In the adjacent half of the draw, Jeon Jihee meets Hina Hayata.
Severely tested, Jeon Jihee recovered from a two games to nil deficit and the brink of defeat in the fourth game to beat Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut (7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 15-13, 11-2). Rather more comfortably, Hina Hayata ended the aspirations of colleague Minami Ando (11-6, 11-8, 15-13).
Progress for Jeon Jihee, it was the same in the women’s doubles, partnering Yang Haeun, the pair secured a place in the final courtesy of a semi-final success in opposition to the combination of Austria’s Karoline Mischek and England’s Tin-Tin Ho (11-4, 11-9, 11-7).
Minami Ando and Japanese compatriot Minami Ando await in the final; they recorded a penultimate round success against Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zeng Jian (11-7, 11-5, 12-10).
Meanwhile, at the semi-final stage of the men’s doubles, England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford overcame the combination of Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck and Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic (11-7, 11-8, 11-7); Cho Seungmin partnering Korea Republic colleague, An Jaehyun accounted for the Japanese pairing of Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda (6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 12-10).
Play in Doha concludes on Saturday 25th September.
Editor: Ian Marshall