Kasumi Ishikawa once again a winner
Photo By: Tetsu Yamashita
GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour, Japan Open
Koreaís Jung Young Sik and the host nationís Kasumi Ishikawa won the respective Under 21 Menís and Under 21 Womenís Singles titles at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Japan Open in Kobe on the evening of Saturday 9th June.
Jung Young Sik, the no.2 seed, having overcome Japanese qualifier Asuka Machi in the semi-finals earlier in the day (11-6, 11-6, 3-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3) continued his form to beat a second player from the home country in the final.
Not only did he continue his good form, he continued his habit of winning by the narrowest of margins in the seventh game.
He defeated Jin Ueda, the no.5 seed (11-6, 13-15, 13-11, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 12-10).
Seventh Seven Game Duel
It was the seventh seventh game duel in a period of three days for Jung Young Sik.
In the group stage of the Menís Singles event he had lost in seven games to Japanís Ryusuke Karube; all rest he won!
Most certainly it was a brave effort from Jin Ueda, who saved one match point in the seventh game before succumbing to what seems to be the inevitable when facing Jung Young Sik in a seventh game in Kobe!
Earlier, Jin Ueda had upset the pecking order; in the penultimate round he overcame Singaporeís Chen Feng, the no.4 seed (11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 11-3, 11-3).
Meanwhile, at the final hurdle, Kasumi Ishikawa accounted for Hong Kongís Lee Ho Ching (11-4, 11-4, 11-2, 11-9), having one round earlier beaten Chinese Taipeiís Chen Szu-Yu, the no.5 seed (14-12, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8).
Defeat for Lee Ho Ching in the final but there was a degree of satisfaction in having reached the gold medal contest.
At the semi-final stage she had beaten Japanís Marina Matsuzawa (5-11, 11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7), the player against whom just over two weeks earlier she had suffered a first round Under 21 Womenís Singles defeat at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour China Open.
In Kobe, it was for Kasumi Ishikawa her seventh appearance in an Under 21 Womenís Singles final on the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour and it was her sixth victory; the only defeat having been in China when losing to DPR Koreaís Ri Myong Sun in the final.
Otherwise it had been a case of whatever she touched turned to gold. Earlier in the year she had won in Slovenia, Qatar, Spain, Chile and Korea.
Conversely, for Lee Ho Ching, it was her second appearance in a GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Under 21 Womenís Singles final; at the first tournament of the year in Hungary she had been beaten in the final by Chinese Taieiís Cheng I-Ching.
Two finals for Lee Ho Ching and for Jung Young Sik it was his second Under 21 Menís Singles final of the year but his second victory.
In Hungary, in the first GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour tournament of the year, he had emerged successful beating Denmarkís Jonathan Groth in the final.
However, since that victory, times have been difficult for the 20 year old Korean.
In Slovenia he was beaten in the quarter-finals by Simon Gauzy of France and then in Kuwait by the same player in round two; in Qatar he also departed in round two, losing to Swedenís Mattias Karlsson whilst in Korea, Japanís Asuka Machi ended progress in the opening round.
Defeat against Asuka Machi but in Kobe he gained revenge in the semi-finals and ended the day both the champion and surely the most tired player of all.
The Under 21 Menís Singles title to his credit and a quarter-final Menís Singles finish; for Jung Young Sik it was back to form, a tournament to remember, and a number to remember seven!