20 Apr 2017

Success for Japan in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, with Minami Ando emerging victorious but in the counterpart Under 21 Men’s Singles competition, despite fielding three of the four semi-finalists, runners up spot was the eventual outcome for the Land of the Rising Sun at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open in Incheon on the evening of Wednesday 19th April.

The host nation’s Lim Jonghoon spoiled the party and completed a successful defence of the title won one year ago.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Occupying the no.7 seeded position; he accounted for Asuka Sakai, the no.5 seed at the semi-final stage (16-14, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4) before clinching the title at the expense of Yuto Kizukuri, the no.8 seed (11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8).

In the counterpart semi-final, Yuto Kizukuri had overcome Mizuki Oikawa, the no.2 seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-7); the player Lim Jonghoon had beaten in the final one year earlier.

“I tried to do my best, preparing my tactics well for each match and concentrating on each point. It´s the second time I have won in Korea, repeating last year’s performance”, Lim Junghoon.

Overall, it was a third career ITTF Under 21 Men’s Singles title for Lim Junghoon; prior to winning last year on home soil, he also won in Hungary.

Meanwhile, for Minami Ando it was her first.

“I am very excited to won my first World Tour Title! It was a very challenging competition and the difficulty increased match by match”, Minami Ado.

The no.9 seed, she accounted for Singapore’s Lin Ye, the no.5 seed in the penultimate round (11-7, 11-4, 13-11), before overcoming colleague a player in form, Saki Shibata, the no.4 seed (11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6).

Notably, at the semi-final stage Saki Shibata had beaten Korea’s Choi Hyojoo, the top seed in a tense full distance five games encounter (11-9, 11-7, 1-11, 5-11, 11-8).

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Korea Open Minami Ando Lim Junghoon

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