by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Thus since Wednesday 14th June when she started her journey in the Women’s Singles tournament for the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Open in Tokyo; she has competed in 24 singles matches and lost just one; the one reverse being in the final at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open in Chengdu, when losing to colleague, Ding Ning, the Olympic and World champion.
Quite staggering and the doubles record is arguably even better; since the journey started in Tokyo, she has played in 14 doubles matches with various partners and has emerged victorious in all 14 contests!
Furthermore, in Ansan, she gained revenge for the defeat experienced last September when beaten in the final of the Junior Girls’ Singles event at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships in Bangkok.
After beating colleague Liu Weishan at the semi-final stage (11-4, 11-9, 11-9), she accounted for Qian Tianyi to secure the title (11-3, 11-2, 11-6); in the counterpart semi-final Qian Tianyi had beaten Shi Xunyao, also from China (11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 11-5).
Earlier, in the day, in the Junior Mixed Doubles final, an all Chinese affair had witnessed success for Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha against Xue Fei and Qian Tianyi (11-7, 11-4, 11-7).
An all-Chinese Mixed Doubles final; it was the same in the Junior Girls’ Doubles event.
After accounting for Korea’s Kim Jiho and Kang Daeyeon at the semi-final stage, Sun Yingsha and Qian Tianyi overcame Shi Xunyao and Liu Weishan (14-12, 12-10, 11-9) to reserve the top step of the podium. In the opposite half of the draw, in the penultimate round, Shi Xunyao and Liu Weishan had beaten Japan’s Miyuu Kihara and Yuka Minagawa (11-8, 4-11, 12-10, 15-13).
Four titles for Sun Yingsha, it was three for Wang Chuqin, the one blemish being a quarter-final Junior Boys’ Doubles reverse when facing Japan’s Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami (11-7, 11-8, 11-7).
One defeat but there were no more for the 17 year old, who earlier had enjoyed Junior Boys’ Team success.
In addition to the Junior Mixed Doubles success he secured the Junior Boys’ Singles title beating Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri in the final (11-8, 11-6, 11-5), having at the semi-final stage overcome colleague, Xu Yingbin (13-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7). In the counterpart penultimate round duel, Yuto Kizukuri had beaten colleague Shunsuke Togami (8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8).
Titles for visitors; at last on the concluding day there was success for the host nation. An Jaehyun and Hwang Minha won the Junior Boys’ Doubles event.
After recording a semi-final success against Japan’s Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami (6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6), they overcame Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Li Hsin-Yang (3-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7) to secure the top prize.
In the counterpart semi-final, Lin Yun-Ju and Li Hsin-Yang had accounted for China’s Xu Yingbin and Yu Heyi (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5).