by Simon Daish
Incheon, located near the capital city of Seoul played host to the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open between Thursday 20th and Sunday 23rd April.
The fourth stop on the 2017 ITTF World Tour calendar saw Timo Boll defeat Patrick Franziska in an all-German Men’s Singles final (11-8, 12-10, 12-10, 11-6) to claim his 19th trophy in the category and his first since 2010.
Feng Tianwei emerged successful in the Women’s Singles draw as the Singapore competitor came through her tie against Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa in six games (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9).
The host nation also lifted a trophy at the event as Jang Woojin and Jeong Sangeun triumphed in the Men’s Doubles final over Denmark’s Jonathan Groth and Germany’s Patrick Franziska (11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10), while the German pairing of Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja stood victorious (11-4, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9) in the Women’s Doubles competition.
Wuxi, China hosted the Seamaster 2017 ITTF Asian Championships, and as expected spectators were treated to many standout moments from the event including a good number of high-profile upsets.
Following early exits from the likes of Jeoung Youngsik, Xu Xin and Ma Long the Men’s Singles draw saw Fan Zhendong take on Korea Republic’s surprise finalist Jeong Sangeun for the title and much to the delight of the home crowd it was the Chinese star who gained the trophy in straight games (11-5, 11-5, 11-8).
Yet, arguably the shock outcome of the 2017 Asian Championships came in the Women’s Singles competition as 17-year-old Miu Hirano of Japan defied the odds to seal the title with a victory over China’s Chen Meng (11-9, 11-8, 11-7).
Miu Hirano’s success in Wuxi really was a fantastic achievement, and that leads us into the Pongcast question of the month:
When was the last time a Japanese player won the Asian Championships?
Comment your answer on the Pongcast post via the ITTF Facebook page and share the video for a chance to win a piece of gear from Nittaku.
There were three ITTF Challenge Series events which featured in April’s table tennis calendar with Bangkok, Otočec and Santiago de Chile hosting the action.
Japan’s Hitomi Sato has now won three Women’s Singles titles at Challenge Series competitions this year following successful campaigns at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open and 2017 ITTF Challenge Slovenia Open, while the Seamaster 2017 ITTF Challenge Chile Open saw Soumyajit Ghosh and Caroline Kumahara receive their first ITTF Challenge Series Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles titles.
The opening ITTF World Junior Circuit event of the month saw Romanian and Italian contestants put in strong showings at the 2017 Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open in Radès.
Tweed Heads hosted the 2017 Australia Junior and Cadet Open with Japan emerging triumphant in each of the categories which the country’s representatives participated in, and USA’s Amy Wang left the 2017 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open in Spa with three titles to her name.
While we have covered quite a few of April’s standout moments there are plenty of other interesting stories that feature in the Pongcast video for April 2017, so be sure to give the video a watch.