by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success and it was success for experience.
Experience counted not only in the fact that Hina Hayata and Mima Ito are both still only 16 years of age, whilst Petrissa Solja is 23 years old and Shan Xiaona celebrated her 30th birthday four years ago; also experienced counted in the length of time that the Germans have been partners on the international scene.
Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja have been in harness for over four years; for Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, their partnership is very much a new combination.
“It´s an unbelievable to win; in the semi-finals they beat Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun. From the beginning we felt the game, we played very well on the first two balls, service and receive. We became used to the new ball from match to match; we couldn´t practise with it before. It was hard at the beginning but then we got used to it and we were able to achieve an amazing performance.” Petrissa Solja
Notably they were together at the recent Seamaster 2017 Asian Championships in Wuxi where they underlined the fact that they are a force with which to be reckoned. They reached the Women’s Doubles semi-finals eventually losing to the Chinese combination of Chen Ke and Wang Manyu (11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10).
It was a brave effort in Wuxi, it was the very same in Incheon. After losing the close second game in the final, they established a 5-3 lead in the third and then never looked back. They won the next six points.
Meanwhile, in the fourth they showed great character; they trailed throughout, eventually levelling at 9-all before the German duo claimed the next two points to secure the title.
“It´s a pity we can´t play together at the Liebherr World Championships due to Shan Xiaona not being eligible; we have a good understanding and we could have made a good result. I am looking forward playing with Sabine Winter. We know each other from a long time and understanding very well.” Petrissa Solja
Gold for Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja; gold for a third time as a partnerships in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles event; in 2015 they won on home soil in Bremen and in Austria.
Meanwhile, for Petrissa Solja is her fourth career ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles success; she won in 2012 in Bremen when partnering colleague Sabine Winter.