By Neha Aggarwal
Miu Hirano beat Singapore’s Feng Tianwei in four games (11-5, 11-2, 18-16, 11-5).
The last time Japan won a singles medal was back in 1969 World Champonship when Toshiko Kowada won gold in Munich, Germany.
Surprised by the news of creating a record, Hirano said,
“I did not know that it has been so long that Japan had won a medal, I am a bit surprised. I am happy to have this record, and that this will be in the history books.”- Miu Hirano
This fearless young lady displayed a game that is comparable to that of the Chinese, sometime even better. She stayed close to the table, reacting to the balls in a blink of an eye. The match saw some spectacular long rallies close to the table.
Hirano is just fresh off winning the ITTF-Asian Championship in April this year, and her confidence here in Düsseldorf is clearly sky high. “After my win, I have more self confidence, I don’t have any fear before a match. I always enter a match to win,” she said.
Hurricane Hirano is blowing the world away. Her target is quite clear: “I want to win the title here in Düsseldorf,” she said.
She will now face Olympic and World Champion Ding Ning in the semi-finals to be played on 3rd June 2017. Ding Ning out staged Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa in a smooth five game win (11-8,11-2,7-11,11-8,11-2).
After the win Ding Ning said, “I won because my preparation before the competition was very holistic. I was able to devote myself to the competition on the court. In order to face tomorrow’s match, I just need to rest, eat, sleep well and have a good attitude.”
Ding Ning will be looking to take revenge against Miu Hirano from the horrifying loss in the quarter-finals at the 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships. She lost to Hirano in five games, (11-3, 14-12, 9-11, 14-16, 10-12).
In the lower half, Zhu Yuling overcame Chen Meng in thrilling six games (17-15, 8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4). She will meet Liu Shiwen in the semi-finals.
Liu Shiwen beat Mu Zi in a smooth 4-1 victory (11-1, 6-11, 8-11, 3-11, 7-11).
Semi-finals will be played on 3rd June. Watch live on itTV.