by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably Japan’s Maki Shiomi and Singapore’s Lin Ye needed the full seven games to maintain their unbeaten records and thus gain passports to the main draw.
Both found aspiring players from Chinese Taipei most worthy opponents. Maki Shiomi was stretched to the very limit by Liu Yu-Hsin (11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 4-11, 13-11); likewise Lin Ye needed a deciding game to eventually overcome Liu Hsing-Yin (13-11, 11-13, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7).
Similarly, Miyu Maeda, like Maki Shiomi from Japan, required six games to beat Lin Chia-Chin, also from Chinese Taipei (5-11, 12-10, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6), as did Korea’s Lee Eunhye when facing India’s Manika Batra (8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2).
Close defeats for Chinese Taipei but there was a close success; Huang Yi-Hua recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Japan’s Rika Suzuki in six games (9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-5, 11-5).
Meanwhile, as play proceeded attention focused on the young Chinese players in action, all trying to establish themselves amongst their country’s elite. Earlier, in addition to Zhang Qiang, Wang Manyu had secured top place in her group; later Chen Xingtong and Gu Yuting followed suit.
Chen Xingtong concluded her qualification phase by beating India’s Madhurika Patkar (11-4, 12-10, 11-2, 11-5); Gu Yuting accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Wang Yi-Ju (11-5, 11-7, 11-2, 11-3).
All are players who have the ability to make their mark in the main draw; a situation that also applies to a player very much at the other end of the scale, a player who has already made her mark.
Korea’s Kim Kyungah, bronze medallist at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, now 40 year old; after accounting for Australia’s Feng Chunyi (11-1, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7), overcame Charlotte Carey of Wales (11-8, 11-5, 11-4, 11-6) to remain unbeaten and thus reserved a main draw place.
Notably of the players on duty in the Women’s Singles event in Gold Coast, she is the most successful on the ITTF World Tour.
She has a total of no less than 16 titles, eight Women’s Singles, six Women’s Doubles with Park Miyoung and two with Kim Bokrae.
Photos: APAC Sport Media