by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Asuka Sasao and Mitsuko Kimura both beat highly rated Hong Kong adversaries; Asuka Sasao accounted for Wong Chin Yau, the no.2 seed (11-5, 11-3, 15-13), Mitsuko Kimura overcame Lee Ka Yee, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-3, 11-13, 11-8).
Impressive performances, it was the same from Kasumi Kimura and Ayano I, who being in groups comprising four players, were required to compete in two matches on the opening day of the individual events.
Kasumi Kimura after beating Thailand’s Thitsuda Premsri (11-9, 11-8, 11-6) overcame Chinese Taipei’s Wen Ruei-Ling, the no.4 seed (11-4, 7-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-2); whilst Ayano I defeated Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan, the no.11 seed, having earlier proved too strong for the host nation’s Naja Mekamporn (11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9).
Victories, the day ending unbeaten for the Japanese quartet; it was the same for Zauresh Akasheva; she beat Thailand’s Natkamon Kamkorn (4-11, 12-14, 16-14, 11-4, 11-6), prior to causing an upset by overcoming Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Lam, the no.9 seed (11-8, 10-12, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6).
However, for Poon Yat and Alice Chang Li Sian, the situation is somewhat more different.
In her opening contest Poon Yat was beaten by Singapore’s Liu Sijia (9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4), prior upsetting the order of merit by overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Jie (11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8); Liu Sijia remains the only unbeaten player in the group. In her second match of the day, she overcame Thailand’s Papatchaya Hoarakkit (11-7, 11-6, 11-6).
Similarly, Alice Chang Li Sian, after losing to Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Yun-En (6-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8), beat Singapore’s Eunice Lim, the no.12 seed (11-9, 11-4, 11-4). Tsai Yun-Chen remains the one unbeaten player in the group; on her second visit to the table, she overcame Kanokwan Atimuttikul, like Papatchaya Hoarakkit from Thaliand (11-3, 12-10, 11-4).
Surprise wins for Poon Yat and Alice Chang Li Sian; it was the same for Fung Wai Chu in a group that is wide open. Fung Wai Chu beat Thailand’s Cathereeya Poungsri, the no.14 seed in her opening contest (5-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-9) but lost to Singapore’s Jassy Tan Lin (11-4, 11-6, 3-11, 6-11, 16-14). Meanwhile, in her second encounter Cathereeya Poungsri overcame India’s Manushree Patil (5-11, 14-12, 11-5, 11-2); a player who in her opening contest had accounted for Jassy Tan Li (7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5).
Defeats for leading names their only defeats of the day; the door is open. Players finishing in first and second places in each of the 14 groups advance to the main draw.
Notably Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut, the top seed, concluded her matches in first place in her group; whilst Hong Kong’s Chau Wing Sze, the no.6 seed and India’s Priyanka Pareek, the no.7 seed, with one match still to play remained unbeaten.
Play in the group qualification stage of the Junior Girls’ Singles event concludes on Saturday 13th May.
Photos: Nakares Terakashimi