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Japanese girls excel

Wednesday 03 July


Wednesday 3rd July


Japanese girls excel

Main draw places at stake on Wednesday 3rd July at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Shinan Korea Open in Busan; it was the aspiring female players from Japan who attracted the limelight.

Pride of place went to Hina Hayata; the young lady who will celebrate her 20th birthday on Sunday 7th July, the day play concludes, she halted Chinese progress. She beat both Shi Xunyao (7-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6) and Chen Ke (7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7) to reserve her place in the main draw.

Likewise there were notable performances from teenagers Haruna Ojio, Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki.

Only 13 years old, employing her defensive skills to the full, Haruna Ojio beat Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5) and Portugal’s Shao Jieni (11-6, 8-11, 6-11, 14-12, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8) to secure progress. Likewise, 14 year old Miyuu Kihara beat Hong Kong’s Mak Tze Wing (4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 4-11, 11-9) and Singapore’s Lin Ye (11-9, 5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8); Miyu Nagasaki, 17 years of age, ousted Germany’s Shan Xiaona (11-6, 13-11, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 4-11, 11-9).

Not to be upstaged Miyu Kato accounted for colleague Satsuki Odo (13-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9); somewhat similarly Honoka Hashimoto overcame the host nation’s Yang Haeun (11-9, 11-9, 12-10, 11-5).

Equally, China’s He Zhuojia, the top name on duty in the qualification stage of the women’s singles event, beat Singapore’s Zeng Jian (11-3, 11-9, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6) to secure her main draw place but for another prominent name there was not such progress. Canada’s Zhang Mo suffered a second preliminary round defeat at the hands of China’s Liu Xi (12-10, 12-10, 13-11, 11-6). Alas for Liu Xi there was no further progress. She was beaten in the next round by India’s Manika Batra (7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7).

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles event, amongst the leading names Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson advanced but there was no progress for Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura.

Chuang Chih-Yuan beat Korea Republic’s Park Ganghyeon (11-6, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7) to reserve his main draw place. Comfortable for Chuang Chih-Yuan, it was somewhat similar for Marcos Freitas. He ended the hopes of the host nation’s An Jaehyun (8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4), a player on who eyes were focused having reached the penultimate round at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships.

However, life was very different for Kristian Karlsson and Maharu Yoshimura. Kristian Karlsson was extended the full seven games distance by China’s Xu Yingbin (10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 10-12, 11-9, 13-11), before rather more comfortably accounting for Uzbekistan’s Zokhid Kenjaev (11-6, 11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6).

A close call for Kristian Karlsson, for Maharu Yoshimura, it was the end of the road. He beat China’s Sun Wen (12-14, 17-15, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8) to avenge his defeat of one month earlier in Sapporo but was then lost to colleague, Yuki Hirano (11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 16-14).

Defeat for Maharu Yoshimura but not for younger brother Kazuhiro Yoshimura in a contest against an adversary who had likewise won on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour. The winner in Hong Kong, he beat China’s Zhen Peifeng (7-11, 6-11, 11-6, 15-13, 7-11, 12-10, 12-10), the winner in the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, crowned world junior champion in 2017, China’s Xue Fei made his presence felt; keeping the pen-hold grip style of play alive, he accounted for the Czech Republic’s Lubomir Jancarik (11-4, 11-7, 11-1, 13-11), prior to causing a major upset by overcoming Egypt’s Omar Assar (11-4, 11-2, 10-12, 11-8, 14-16, 11-7).

Notable performances and also one that could be of note, Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito beat Uzbekistan’s Zokhid Kenjaev and Rimma Gufranova (11-5, 11-1, 11-5) in mixed doubles preliminary round to reserve a main draw place.

Play in the main draw commences on Thursday 4th July.

By Ian Marshall, Editor

Photo Credit: ITTF


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