06 May 2017

Winners earlier in the year in Thailand, the Japanese combination of Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato won the Women’s Doubles title at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open on Saturday 6th May.

The top seeds, as they have been in all four Challenge Series tournaments in which they have appeared this year, they justified their exalted status.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Consistent defensive play the basis for victory, they accounted for surprise finalists, Belarus qualifiers Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos (14-12, 11-7, 11-7) to secure the title; the result somewhat similar to that achieved in Thailand when overcoming Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Mak Tze Wing in the final (11-5, 13-11, 11-9).

Notably it was the second time this year that the two pairs had met; they confronted each other in the opening round in Belarus when on that occasion Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato had emerged successful in four games (11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7).

“Our attacking play was decisive for this final. I lost early in the Women’s Singles, so to win the Women’s Doubles is very satisfying. Generally speaking, I am satisfied with my performance in Zagreb.” Hitomi Sato

Alas for the Japanese pairing there had been no further progress in Belarus; they were beaten narrowly in the next round by the Chinese Taipei combination of Lin Chia-Hsuan and Lin Po-Hsuan (11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9).

Disappointment in Belarus, more recently it was disappointment in Slovenia; Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato experienced a semi-final defeat at the hands of the combination formed by Romania’s Elizabeta Samara and the Czech Republic’s Renata Strbikova (11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8).

Runners up spot for Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos but they can take consolation in the fact that they are only the fourth all Belarus partnership to reach the final of a Women’s Doubles event on either the ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series.

Furthermore they are the first Belarus pairing to achieve the feat in which the name Pavlovich does not appear.

In 2003 Tatyana Logatzkaya and Veronika Pavlovich won the Women’s Doubles title in Qatar; the only time Belarus has achieved such a feat. Later, Viktoria Pavlovich was the runner up in partnership with Tatsiana Kostromina in 2004 in the United States and in Chile; in 2005 it was the same outcome with twin sister Veronika in Russia and once again in Chile.

Now in Zagreb, it was a similar fate for Belarus but they can take great heart from the efforts their two young ladies; Nadezhda Bogdanova is 16 years old, Daria Trigolos is one year older. The signs are positive, very positive indeed.

Challenge Series 2017 Zagreb (Croatia) Open Hitomi Sato Honoka Hashimoto Daria Trigolos Nadezhda Bogdanova

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