21 Jun 2017

Japanese players a plenty on Tuesday 20th June, in the opening round of the Women’s Singles event at the qualification tournament for the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open in Chengdu; Rika Suzuki and Eka So were the players to cause the upsets but it was Miyuu Kihara who was in the lens of the camera.

It was not necessarily because the 12 year old is the youngest player competing in the tournament; it was because she was competing against another young player, the host nation’s 16 year old Sun Yingsha, the quite sensational winner two days earlier in Tokyo.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Miyuu Kihara was beaten in four straight games (11-1, 12-10, 11-6, 11-2); not unexpected and it was the same fate that befell her colleague, Yuka Minagawa, who at 16 years of age is the second youngest in the event. She was beaten by Korea’s Song Maeum (8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4, 11-9).

Defeats for the two youngest in the event, for the third it was success; that player is Sun Yingsha.

Impressive once again from the Chinese teenager, it was the same from Rika Suzuki and Eka So.

Listed at no.154 on the current Women’s World Rankings, Rika Suzuki beat Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam, named at no.56, in a full distance seven games contest (11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 14-12, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7); rather more comfortably Eka So, who keeps the pen-hold grip style of play alive, overcame Chinese Taipei’s Liu Hsing-Yin (11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7).

Presently Eka So has no world ranking, Liu Sing-Yin is named at no.105.

Success for Japan and there were four more notable wins for the Land of the Rising Sun, all as status anticipated.

Saki Shibata, Marina Matsuzawa and Kyoka Kato all ended the hopes of Chinese Taipei. Ranked no.51, Saki Shibata beat Kuo Chia-Yun, a player with no global status (11-2, 11-1, 11-7, 11-6); Marina Matsuzawa, named at no.69, accounted for Lin Chia-Hsuan, listed at no.171 (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-7), whilst Kyoka Kato ended the hopes of Wang Yi-Ju (11-7, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7).

Three notable wins for Japan and there was one more; Minami Ando standing at no.66 overcame Angela Guan of the United States who is named at no.228 (11-5, 11-4, 11-2, 11-6).

Progress to the second preliminary round of the Women’s Singles event but there was one notable Japanese casualty; ranked no.65, Miyu Maeda was beaten by China’s Zhang Rui, a player with no world ranking (10-12, 11-6, 16-14, 13-15, 11-6, 11-5).

Meanwhile, for two seasoned competitors, both ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles winners, it was first round success. Portugal’s Shao Jieni beat Korea’s Kim Byeolnim (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2, 11-6); Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun overcame Chinese Taipei’s Chiu Ssu-Hua (10-12, 11-6, 15-13, 10-12, 11-7, 3-11, 11-5).

Play in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament concludes on Wednesday 21st June.

 2017 Spanish Para Open
Photos: Deng Xiaozhao

World Tour 2017 Seamaster China Open Sun Yingsha Miyuu Kihara

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