by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A place in the final for Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching meant that they were only the second partnership from Hong Kong to achieve the feat; more senior colleagues Jiang Huajun and Tie Yana form the only other pairing to achieve the distinction.
Jiang Huajun and Tie Yana reached the final of the 2009 edition staged in early January 2010 in Macao before later in the year in Seoul progressing to the title deciding contest. In Macao they were beaten in the final by China’s Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen, in Seoul when confronting the Korea Republic combination of Kim Kyungah and Park Miyoung.
Meanwhile for Japan, Yui Hamamoto and Hina Hayata followed in the footsteps of Miu Hirano and Miu Hirano to continue the sequence of teenage combinations advancing to the final for the third consecutive year.
In 2014 in Bangkok, Miu Hirano and Mima Ito had emerged as the winners beating the Polish combination of Natalia Partyka and Katarzyna Grzybowska and Natalia Partyka in the final, before last year having to settle for runners up spot in Lisbon. They were beaten by China’s Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling.
Overall Yui Hamamoto and Hina Hayata were the third Japanese partnership to reach the Women’s Doubles title deciding contest at the Grand Finals; in 2000 in Kobe Mayu Kishi-Kawagoe and Akiko Takeda reached the ultimate round losing to China’s Sun Jin and Yang Ying.