by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Semi-finalist two months ago in the Girls’ Singles event at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town; more recently two days ago the same finish in the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition in New Delhi, the 18 year old accounted for colleague, Lee Ho Ching, the no.2 seed.
She prevailed in a tense seven games encounter, determined by the minimal two point margin in the deciding game (5-11, 4-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9).
An upset most certainly but the result must be tempered by the fact that the players are from the same association, they practise together and thus the air of familiarity reduces the surprise factor.
Success for one Hong Kong player against the odds in the second round of the Women’s Singles event, there were successes for three more but as expected.
All ended Indian aspirations; Doo Hoi Kem, the top seed, beat Mousumi Paul (11-2, 11-6, 11-6, 13-11), Jiang Huajun, the no.5 seed, accounted for Sutirtha Mukherjee (11-4, 11-3, 13-11, 9-11, 11-6); Ng Wing Nam, the no.8 seed, ended the hopes of Mouma Das, the no.12 seed (11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 15-13).
Four Hong Kong players through to the last eight but there was one second round casualty; however, it was no upset. Minnie Soo Wai Yam, who earlier had been beaten in the final of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, experienced defeat at the hands of Hungary’s Georgina Pota, the no.3 seed (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10).
The end of the road for Minnie Soo Wai Yam but not for Japan’s Sakura Mori, the player against whom she had experienced defeat by the very narrowest of margins in the Under 21 Women’s Singles final (4-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10); the no.6 seed, she overcame Archana Girish Kamath to end Indian hopes (11-3, 13-11, 5-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-4).
Victory as seeded advised; it was the same in the remaining second round Women’s Singles contests with Chinese Taipei players finding higher rated adversaries in form.
Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm, the no.4 seed, overcame Chinese Taipei’s Lin Po-Hsuan, the no.13 seed (11-3, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6); Portugal’s Shao Jieni, the no.7 seed, ended the aspirations of Wang Yi-Ju, the no.15 seed (10-12, 13-11, 17-15, 11-6, 11-5).
At the quarter-final stage Doo Hoi Kem meets Jiang Huajun, Shao Jieni faces Matilda Ekholm; in the opposite half of the draw, Georgina Pota opposes Ng Wing Nam, Sakura Mori confronts Mak Tze Wing.