Gold five years ago on the ITTF World Tour in the Australian city of Melbourne, Japan’s Hina Hayata won the women’s singles title at the WTT Star Contender Doha 2021 tournament on Saturday 25th September.
Hina Hayata, the women's singles winner
At the final hurdle she beat Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem (11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7), after having on round earlier appeared to be heading out of the tournament.
Facing Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee, she lost the first three games before totally turning the tide to win the next four (8-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5).
Earlier, in the counterpart semi-final, Doo Hoi Kem had ended European hopes by overcoming Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska (11-4, 11-5, 12-10, 11-1).
Disappointment for Korea Republic, success for Japan; it was exactly the same scenario in the women’s doubles final. Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun experienced defeat at the hands of Minami Ando and Miyu Nagasaki (11-8, 11-9, 11-6).
Likewise, it was not the best of news for Korea Republic in the men’s singles competition; Lee Sangsu experienced a semi-final defeat at the hands of Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic (13-11, 12-14, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-2).
A notable win for the 23-year-old who in recent years has very much established himself a senior player of high class, the powerful backhand most worthy of note.
However, there was to be no gold; in the final he was beaten by Brazil’s Hugo Calderano (11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-3, 11-9), the semi-final winner in opposition to England’s Liam Pitchford (11-2, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9).
Disappointment for Korea Republic but there was success; An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin beat Liam Pitchford and England team colleague, Paul Drinkhall, to arrest the men’s doubles crown (11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 11-4).
Attention in Doha now turns to the ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships; play commences on Tuesday 28th September.