by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Playing on home soil, Mattias Karlsson against all expectations and to the delight of those present in the Eriksdalshallen, progressed to the final of the Men’s Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm where he was beaten by Japan’s Yuya Oshima.
An important match in its own right but it was more than just another title deciding contest, the winner gained a place in the Grand Finals; the loser could only dwell on what might have been.
Success for Japan in Stockholm in the Men’s Singles event, there was also success for the Land of the Rising Sun in the Women’s Singles competition; already assured of a place in Doha, Kasumi Ishikawa beat Turkey’s Hu Melek to collect her sixth career ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles crown.
Similarly one week earlier at the Hybiome 2016 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open, it had been gold for Japan. Kenta Matsudaira beat Brazil’s Hugo Calderano to secure the Men’s Singles title; in all Japanese Women’s Singles title decider, Mima Ito accounted for Yui Hamamoto.
Notably the names of Kenta Matsudaira and Mima Ito both appear on the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals invitation list.
Meanwhile, at the Hungarian Junior and Cadet Open, Japan was also to the fore. Koyo Kanamitsu beat colleague Takuto Izumo to secure the Junior Boys’ Singles title. In the counterpart Junior Girls’ Singles event, Maki Shiomi advanced to the final but had to settle for the second step of the podium. She was beaten by Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam.
Both Koyo Kanamitsu and Minnie Soo Wai Yam finished the year in positions on the respective ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Standings and Girls’ Standing that gain an invitation to the Finals to be staged in Indore, India from Friday 26th to Saturday 28th January.
Relive the month of November 2016….