Yoshiyuki Kato in form in Santiago
Photo By: Cristian Larrain
GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour, Chile Open
Singaporeís Wu Zhikang and Japanís Yoshiyuki Kato upsets the odds to reach the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Menís Singles event, at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Chile Open in Santiago on Saturday 28th April.
Both are players with minimal international experience; Wu Zhikang stands at no.93 on the current Under 21 World Rankings, whilst Yoshiyuki Kato has no global status.
On a day when matters in both the Under 21 Menís and Under 21 Womenís Singles event went very much according to ranking; the two relative new comers stole the show.
Not seeded, Yoshiyuki Kato having beaten Germanyís Philipp Floritz, the no.4 seed, in the opening round one day earlier (4-11, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7) continued his good form on the fourth day of play.
He beat Argentinaís Pablo Saragovi (11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8) to book his place in the penultimate round.
Similarly, Wu Zhikang, the no.6 seed, maintained his outstanding form.
After overcoming Pablo Saragoviís compatriot, the exciting 14 year old Fermin Tenti (11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9), Wu Zhikang withstood a spirited recovery by Japanís unpredictable Maharu Yoshimura, the no.3 seed to book his semi-final place.
He succeeded in a hard fought seven games encounter (11-7,. 11-7, 12-10, 2-11, 10-12, 7-11, 11-2).
Otherwise matters went as per seeding.
Top seed, Germanyís Patrick Franziska ended Brazilian hopes by beating Gustavo Souza (11-6, 11-2, 7-11, 11-6) and Danilo Toma (11-9, 11-8, 13-15, 11-7, 11-3), to secure his semi-final place; whilst Singaporeís Chen Feng, the no.2 seed, was in peak form.
He reserved his place in the penultimate round without surrendering a single game. He beat Argentinaís Juan Daher (11-8, 11-6, 11-9) before overcoming Koreaís Kim Dong Hyun, the no.5 seed and winner one week earlier in Spain (11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9); the win over the Korean, a most impressive result.
The winner in Spain but in Chile a quarter-final defeat for Kim Dong Hyun
Photo by Cristian Larrain
Meanwhile, in the Under 21 Womenís Singles event, the top two seeds progressed to the final without any heartaches; not a single game surrendered.
Japanís Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.1 seed, overcame Brazilians Caroline Kumahara (11-3, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8) and Gui Lin, the no.4 seed (11-4, 11-5, 12-10, 11-5) to reach the penultimate round; whilst Koreaís Yang Ha Eun, the no.2 seed, defeated Argentinaís Ana Codina (11-4, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5) and Koreaís Lee Dasom (11-9, 12-10, 11-6, 11-8).
The appearance of 16 year old Lee Dasom in the semi-finals was the only surprise; not seeded, she had beaten Japanís Misaki Morizono, the no.3 seed, in the quarter-finals in a most impressive manner, recording a straight games win (11-6, 11-6, 13-11, 11-8).
However, against colleague Kim Kyung Ah, there was no charity; a place in the final booked, the duel for the gold medal will be a repeat of the Under 21 Womenís Singles final one week ago in Spain.
Lee Dasom, the one surprise package in the Under 21 Womenís Singles event
Photo by Cristian Larrain