by Simon Daish
Second Title for Japanese Partnership
Sato and Hashimoto endured a torrid defeat in the last 16 of the 2016 Czech Open, but the Japanese duo have looked solid throughout the 2016 Belarus Open and look like a partnership to be reckoned with in future competitions.
Korea Republic’s Park Seri and Jung Yumi were also somewhat unexpected finalists having only reached the Round of 16 at the Czech Open; however, just like their opponents in the final the Korean combination had also impressed in Minsk.
The final actually saw Park and Jung start the stronger of the two pairs as they edged the opening game, but Sato and her partner Hashimoto fought back and brought the scores level.
2016’s Australian Open back in June saw Hitomi Sato and Honoka Hashimoto win their first Doubles gold on the ITTF World Tour, and the duo picked up their second trophy after they took the next two ends against Park and Jung to lift the 2016 Belarus Open title.
“We’ve never won in tournaments of such level, so the final match has been a real challenge for us. The opponents gave us a hard time with their services. When the score was 9-9 (2-1 on games), the tension got even harder, but we managed to handle the situation” – Hitomi Sato and Honoka Hashimoto (Japan).
Three out of the four players in the Women’s Doubles final were below the age of 20, with Jung Yumi the exception (21).
With these competitors already reaching finals of World Tour events at a relatively early stage of their Table Tennis careers, we are bound to see more success from the likes of Honoka Hashimoto and Park Seri in the not too distant future.
Sunday 11th September: Women’s Doubles– Main Event