by Simon Daish
Big Shock in Women’s Last 16
Yoon Hyobin (Korea Republic) recently picked up the Under 21 title at the ITTF World Tour Czech Open, but just under a week later her exit from the Under 21 event in Minsk was shockingly confirmed.
The player to cause the upset was Lin Chia-Hsuan who previously had to negotiate the preliminary group stages before participating in the main draw; to rub further salt into the wounds of Yoon, Lin is ranked 52 places lower in September’s Under 21 world rankings.
Every game in the match between Lin and Yoon was close, with two ends going all the way to deuce to be settled.
Lin went 2-0 up following 11-9 wins across the opening two games, and just when a small glimmer of hope had appeared for Yoon, who took game three, her opponent from Chinese Taipei edged through the next end (11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10) to earn a tie with another Korean player Lee Zion.
Top Seed Through, Belarus Down to One
Adriana Diaz is living up to her title of being the number one seed, as the Puerto Rican player safely qualified for the quarter-finals.
Belarus’s Katsiaryna Baravok gave it her all, but there was only one competitor who looked like winning the encounter and that was Diaz who stormed to a straight games triumph.
“Now that I’ve won my first match in the main draw against Katsiaryna Baravok, I feel very good about my play. Next, I am to face the athletes from Japan… I reckon that my chances for victory are quite high” – Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico).
Another of the host nation’s hopes was also knocked out in the last 16; Daria Trigolos was on the receiving end of Lee Zion’s wrath, losing out 1-3. However, there is still one representative from Belarus left in the event, after Alina Arlouskaya narrowly avoided a defeat to Svetlana Mokhnacheva (Russia).
Chernov Final Russian Remaining
Russia have performed well in the Senior categories of the 2016 Belarus Open to date, but their showing in the Under 21 competitions has been slightly rougher. Only one Russian player remains in the Under 21 Women’s Singles and now there is just a lone Russian in the Under 21 Men’s Singles.
Konstantin Chernov was involved in a marathon encounter with Chinese Taipei’s Sun Chia-Hung, and right from the start the signs of what to expect became apparent as game one took 50 points before Chernov eventually moved 1-0 ahead.
Most players would probably lose their confidence after losing a game in 26-24, but Sun marked it down as a blip and bounced back with two solid victories in the second and third ends to take the lead himself.
The tables had been turned as Sun held the advantage, however, Konstantin Chernov continued to fight and the Russian secured the quarter-finals place, winning back-to-back games to break Sun Chia-Hung’s heart (26-24, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7).
Yang Keeps Chinese Taipei Challenge Going
Despite Sun Chia-Hung’s loss, there is still a Chinese Taipei in the Under 21 Men’s Singles competition.
Yang Tzu-Yi battled it out with Park Chan-Hyeok (Korea Republic) for the right to compete in the last eight, and it was the Chinese Taipei star who came out of the end-to-end match as the 3-2 victor.
Normally one would associate an exit as a blow for the losing player’s country, but for Korea Republic Park Chan-Hyeok was the only contestant to fall in the Round of 16 with an astonishing six representatives making up the remaining eight spots in the category.
Thursday 8th September: Under 21 Women’s Singles – Main Draw
Thursday 8th September: Under 21 Men’s Singles – Main Draw