15 Nov 2016

The top step of the podium for Korea’s Park Ganghyeon in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event at the recent 2016 ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open and for Japan’s Sakura Mori in the counterpart Under 21 Women’s Singles competition, both were most worthy efforts.

However, has the success been sufficient to gain a place in the prestigious Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals to be staged in Doha from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th December?

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Eight players compete in each event in Doha but the aim must be a top seven finish; one place is reserved for a player from the host association.

Sakura Mori is mathematically assured of a top seven finish, she occupies the no.5 spot (565 points); furthermore, she has met the basic qualification criteria of competing in a minimum four tournaments and in two continents.

In fact she has made no less than 11 Under 21 Women’s Singles appearances! Dedication to duty but no-one can catch Saki Shibata who is one place lower (491 points); Linze was her 13th excursion.

Conversely for Park Ganghyeon, there is no guarantee, he is in the no.8 spot on the Under 21 Men’s Singles Standings (362 points) but there are two factors in his favour.

One place ahead is Brazil’s Hugo Calderano (375 points) but he has only played in two Under 21 Men’s Singles Standings events on this year’s ITTF World Tour and with only the Swedish Open remaining, he cannot qualify for Doha.

Furthermore, Park Ganghyeon can enhance his chances; he is named on the forthcoming Swedish entry list.

Similarly, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Kohei Sambe alongside Frenchmen Can Akkuzu and Alexandre Robinot are in doubt following their efforts in Linz. All have theoretical chances of reaching the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals but some are slimmer than others.

Tomokazu Harimoto was beaten by Enzo Anglesi, also from France, at the quarter-final stage in Austria; he is at no.6 (395 points). Can Akkuzu is at no.9 (354 points), with Kohei Sambe at no.11 (323 points); and Alexandre Robinot at no.12 (305 points). All have met the qualification requirement.

In Linz Can Akkuzu who beat Alexandre Robinot in the quarter-finals suffered one round later at the hands of Park Ganghyeon; Kohei Sambe departed in round three, he lost to Enzo Angles.

Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit (877 points) continues to lead the Under 21 Men’s Singles Standings, followed as before by Yuto Muramatsu (725 points), Korea’s Lim Junghoon (690 points) and Mizuki Oikawa, also from Japan (536 points).

Meanwhile, in the Under 21 Women’s Singles Standings; Singapore’s Zhang Jian continues to head the list (1,245 points) despite experiencing a shock first round exit in Linz when beaten by Japan’s Mizuki Morizono.

Zhang Jian is assured of a top seven finish as is the Japanese trio of Yui Hamamoto (1,020 points), Hina Hayata (875 points) and Miyu Kato (783 points) who complete the top four positions.

It is which names will complete the Doha invitation list? On duty in Austria, Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem is in the no.7 spot (338 points), followed immediately by Japan’s Miyu Maeda (334 points) and Korea’s Choi Hyojoo (320 points).

Pertinently, the name of Doo Hoi Kem does not appear on the Swedish entry list; both Miyu Maeda and Choi Hyojoo will compete.

The ITTF World Tour Swedish Open begins in Stockholm on Tuesday 15th November.

 Monday 14th November: Latest Standings after 2016 ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open

World Tour Sakura Mori Park Ganghyeon

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