Ryu Seungmin (left) and Oh Sangeun (right) beaten by Seiya Kishikawa and Koki Niwa
Photo By: Zhang Yong
GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals
Success came the way of the first and last at the semi-final stage of the Men’s Doubles event at the $1,000,000 GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Hangzhou on the afternoon of Saturday 8th December.
Singapore’s Gao Ning and Li Hu, the pair who led the list of qualifiers on the end of year GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Standings emerged successful, as did the pair who gained the final place, Japan’s Seiya Kishikawa and Koki Niwa.
Both beat Korean pairings.
Gao Ning and Li Hu overcame Kim Donghyun and Lee Jung Woo, the no.3 seeds, in six games (13-11,5-11,9-11,11-6,11-7,11-9), after Seiya Kishikawa and Koki Niwa had accounted for Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin, the no.4 seeds (12-10, 11-9, 11-5, 6-11, 4-11, 3-11, 11-6).
“We made such a poor start to the match”, said Ryu Seungmin. “That really killed us.”
Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin were undoubtedly the more experienced duo but Seiya Kishikawa and Koki Niwa were very quickly into a rhythm.
“Trailing by three games to nil web had nothing to lose”, added Ryu Seungmin. “From that point onwards we played pressure free.”
Weak Start to Seventh Game
A poor start in the match and that was also the problem for the Koreans at the start of the seventh game; the early advantage was with the Japanese duo.
“In the first three games we made too many unforced errors”, reflected Oh Sangeun. “Also we made a bad start to the seventh game.”
Praise for Japanese Duo
It cost the Koreans dearly; however, Oh Sangeun was full of praise for the Japanese partnership.
“They have a good spirit”, he concluded. “They play very well together as a team, they are very much together.”
Team spirit wins matches; it did just that for Seiya Kishikawa and Koki Niwa.
Never in Serious Trouble Duo
Equally, Gao Ning and Li Hu experienced problems. It was not plain sailing; they trailed by two games to one after winning the first game.
“We had chances in the second game”, said Li Hu. “However, we were never in serious trouble, we kept believing we would win.”
Left and Right Handed Adversaries
Sporting contests are won and lost in the mind and the Singaporeans, both right handed, faced a formidable combination, a quite ideal partnership.
The left handed pen-holder in the guise of Lee Jungwoo and the right handed shake-hands grip player, Kim Donghyun.
“Certainly it is very difficult playing against a left and right handed pairing”, said Gao Ning; it is especially so where Lee Jungwoo is concerned, he has a most dynamic forehand top spin stroke.
Complement Each Other
“Nevertheless, I think Li Hu and myself complement each other well”, added Gao Ning. “Before I used to play with a left hander, Yang Zi; I think the most important factor is good co-operation and compatibility, I very comfortable partnering Li Hu.”
Comfortable that fact was clear, a place in the final was duly booked.
Download video interviews with Gao Ning and Li Hu