by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
However, there were surprises amongst the last eight names, with Japan very much to the fore.
Fumiya Igarashi emerged the unexpected Under 21 Men’s Singles quarter-finalist, whilst in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, the Japanese names to raise the eyebrows were those of Minami Ando and Asuka Sasao.
Japan prominent but there was one Korean heroine. Against the odds, Shin Yubin, only 12 years old, booked her place in the last eight courtesy of success against Japan’s Natsumi Nakahata, the no.3 seed (12-10, 8-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3).
Success for Korea against Japan but the reverse scenario was the situation where Minami Ando was concerned; she accounted for Lee Zion, the no.7 seed (11-2, 10-12, 11-1, 12-10) to book her last eight place.
She now meets Asuka Sasao, the second round winner in opposition to colleague, Maki Shiomi, the no.2 seed (11-2, 10-12, 11-1, 12-10); awaiting is the victor of the contest between, Shin Yubin and Singapore’s Lin Ye, the no.5 seed. In the opposite half of the draw it is Korea versus Japan in both instances. Choi Hyojoo meets Mizuki Morizono, the no.6 seed; Kim Jiho, the no.8 seed, confronts, Saki Shibata, the no.4 seed.
Likewise in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, the one surprise was a Korean suffering at Japanese hands; in the third round of proceedings, Park Ganghyeon, the no.6 seed, was beaten by Fumiya Igarashi (14-16, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7).
At the quarter-final stage, Fumiya Igarashi meets colleague Mizuki Oikawa, the no.2 seed; Sweden’s Anton Källberg, the no.3 seed, opposes Yuto Kizukuri, the no.8 seed and also from Japan.
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, Japan is also involved, Cho Seungmin faces Asuka Sakai, the no.5 seed; Korean colleague, Lim Jonghoon, the no.7 seed, opposes Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting, the no.4 seed.
Both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events will be played to a conclusion on Wednesday 19th April.