by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Jin Ueda and Hitomi Sato emerged as the two most successful players, each secured two titles.
Partnering Kenji Matsudaira and occupying the no.5 seeded spot; the pair beat Singaporean qualifiers Gao Ning and Pang Xue Jie (18-16, 11-6, 11-9) to strike Men’s Doubles gold.
Soon after, once again Jin Ueda caused Gao Ning pain. The no.3 seed, he accounted for the experienced 34 year old Singaporean, the top seed (11-8, 12-10, 7-11, 11-3, 11-8), to reserve the top step of the Men’s Singles podium.
Earlier, at the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event, both Gao Ning and Jin Ueda had ended Korean hopes; Gao Ning beat qualifier Kang Dongsoo (11-8, 11-5, 15-13, 11-9), Jin Ueda resisted a brave recovery by Park Jeongwoo, the no.13 seed (11-5, 6-11, 11-2, 11-8, 10-12, 10-12, 11-7).
Meanwhile, Hitomi Sato, the no.2 seed, accounted for colleague Honoka Hashimoto, the no.4 seed in the Women’s Singles final (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8), having less than one hour prior partnered her adversary to the Women’s Doubles top prize. The no.1 seeds, the duo overcame Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Mak Tze Wing, the no.2 seeds, in the final (11-5, 13-11, 11-9).
Defeat for Doo Hoi Kem and a second defeat of the day when facing Honoka Hashimoto; in the earlier Women’s Singles semi-final contest, the top seed, she had been beaten by Honoka Hashimoto in five games (11-8, 13-11, 11-8, 13-15, 11-2). In the counterpart Women’s Singles semi-final, Hitomi Sato had ended the hopes of Singapore’s Zeng Jian, the no.3 seed (10-12, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8).
Two titles for Hitomi Sato and success at both Challenge series tournament held to date in 2017; two weeks earlier she had won in Belarus.