Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Pyongyang Open
Friday 26th July
Top seed exits in opening round; Kim Song Il causes major upset
Present at the 2016 World Junior Championships in the South African city of Cape Town but since that time absent from the international scene, the host nation’s Kim Song Il was the player to cause the biggest upset as play commenced at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Pyongyang Open on Friday 26th July.
In a full distance opening round men’s singles contest he recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon, the top seed, in seven games (5-11, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4).
Success against the odds for Kim Song Il; it was the same for colleagues Kim Ok Chan and Ri Jong Sik. Likewise qualifiers, Kim Ok Chan accounted for India’s Mudit Dani, the no.5 seed (11-5, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4), Ri Jang Sik ended the hopes of Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, the no.7 seed (7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8).
Notable performances from the host nation; it was the same for visitors from Iran. Amin Ahmadian, the no.6 seed, overcame Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yan-Cheng (11-8, 2-11, 14-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8); Amir Hossein ended the hopes of DPR Korea’s Ji Yu Yong (9-11, 17-15, 14-12, 11-8, 3-11, 3-11, 11-6).
Success as anticipated in the opening round for the Iranian duo, it was the same the DPR Korea’s An Ji Song and Ham Yu Song alongside Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay; all overcame host nation adversaries. An Ji Song, the no.2 seed, beat U Tae Ryong (11-5, 14-16, 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9); Gavin Rumgay, the no.3 seed, ousted Chae Min U (12-10, 4-11, 11-7, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5), Ham Yu Song, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of Ro Hyon Song (11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5).
Problems for seeded players in the opening round of the men’s singles event; it was not too dissimilar in the counterpart women’s singles competition, the result the host nation fields all eight quarter-finalists.
Kim Jinju overcame Norway’s Ilka Duval, the no.4 seed (11-6, 11-3, 12-10, 11-7), Ri Hyon Sim beat colleague, Cha Su Yong, the no.8 seed (11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 11-13, 11-4). No surprise but perhaps there was a surprise that was no a surprise at all; Kim Nam Hae, the no.3 seed, ended the hopes of China’s Gu Ruochen, semi-finalist at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour German Open. She prevailed in six games (11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 7-11, 13-11, 11-6).
However, for the other leading names there were no such travails. Kim Song I, the top seed, beat Jon Kyong Mi (11-7, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4), Cha Hyo Sim, the no.2 seed, ended the aspirations of Ju Hyanh Hui (11-5, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6). Likewise, Kim Sol Song, the no.5 seed, overcame Ri Hyang (11-9, 3-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8), Pyon Song Gyong, the no.6 seed, accounted for Choe Hyon Hwa (11-7, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9); Kim Jin Hyang, the no.7 seed, prevailed in opposition to Kim Kum Yong (11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 12-10).
Quarter-finalists known in the men’s singles and women’s singles events; in the corresponding under 21 competitions the finalists are decided. In the under 21 men’s singles competition it is an Chinese Taipei final; Feng Yi-Hsin faces Huang Yan-Cheng. In the counterpart under 21 women’s singles competition, the title is destined for the host nation. Pyon Song Gyong faces Cha Su Yong.
In the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events, the top seeded pairs have yet to start their quest for honours.
Editor: Ian Marshall
Photo Credit: ITTF