by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Anything you can do I can do better; that was very much the scenario in the contest between China and Hong Kong. Straight games verdicts were the outcomes.
Guided by Kong Linghui, the head coach, Ding Ning gave her team the perfect start by beating Lee Ho Ching (11-5, 11-5, 11-2), before Zhu Yuling doubled the lead when overcoming Doo Hoi Kem (11-6, 11-9, 11-9). Notably Doo Hoi Kem did cause Zhu Yuling problems with clever service variations but when pressure mounted the high level of consistency exerted by the Chinese star prevailed (11-6, 11-9, 11-9).
China in the driving seat, Chen Meng brought matters to a conclusion by accounting for Minnie Soo Wai Yam, a match in which the Hong Kong teenager gradually adjusted to the speed and few degrees extra power of her adversary. Certainly in the third game Minnie Soo Wai Yam had chances (11-3, 11-7, 12-10).
Convincing from Japan with Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling, listed respectively in the top two places on the current Women’s World Rankings and Chen Meng at no.5, the result and margin of victory was no great surprise.
“We had a pre-match preparation meeting and watched Hong Kong match videos last night. Today our players entered into the match rhythm very quickly and played better than yesterday.” Kong Linghui” Though I met some difficulties during the match, I solved them smoothly. This is my second match in this tournament. Hope I can perform better in the finals in this afternoon.” Zhu Yuling following her win against Doo Hoi Kem“In the third game I was down 3-7, I was a bit affected by her services but I just put my emphasis on the first three strokes. The first match is always difficult but I think my performance today is better than expected.” Chen Meng after beating Minnie Soo Wai Yam
However, the margin of victory recorded by Japan against Korea Republic did raise eyebrows. Once again the three players born in 2000, as in the quarter-final win against Singapore, were on duty for the Land of the Rising Sun; they emulated the Chinese effort. A three matches to nil verdict; every win being in straight games.
Miu Hirano beat Yang Haeun (11-2, 11-7, 11-8), Mima Ito overcame Suh Hyowon (11-3, 11-8, 11-9) before Hina Hayata concluded matters with victory over Kim Kyungah (11-9, 11-9, 11-6).
The final will be played later today.