by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Choe Hyon Hwa is named at no.70 on the present Women’s World Rankings, Ri Mi Gyong at no.76 and Cha Hyo Sim at no.125; alongside Kim Song I the highest rated players in their respective groups. They duly reserved main draw places but not without alarm bells ringing.
Second place was to be the lot of both Choe Hyon Hwa and Ri Mi Gyong. Choe Hyon Hwa, having on the opening day experienced defeat at the hands of Kim Jin Hyang (11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8) recovered on the second day to beat Pyon Song Gyong (12-10, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7). Kim Jin Hyang concluded the group itinerary by overcoming Pyon Song Gyong (15-13, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7) to reserve first place.
Similarly, Ri Mi Gyong, beaten by Kim Nam Hae in her opening encounter (11-9, 1-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10), rose the challenge on day two to overcome Iran’s Fatemeh Jamalifar (11-4, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7). Kim Nam Hae concluded matters by defeating Fatemeh Jamalifar (11-6, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8) to maintain her unbeaten record and thus topped the group.
Runners up spot for Choe Hyon Hwa and Ri Mi Gyong; for Cha Hyo Sim, it was first place but almost third place.
She was beaten in six games by Ri Hyon Sim (10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-3, 10-12, 11-9) but recovered to overcome Jong Un Ju in five games (11-8, 11-7, 11-6, 11-13, 11-2). Earlier on the first day of play Jong Un Ju had accounted for Ri Hyon Sim in five games (8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-3, 11-7).
Thus games ratio was required to determine the outcome; it was first place for Cha Hyo Sim (6:5) ahead of Jong Un Ju (5:5) and Ri Hyon Sim (5:6). Notably at no.156 on the current Women’s World Rankings, Ri Hyon Sim is the fifth highest rated player on duty in the Women’s Singles event; she is the surprise quarter-final omission.
The quarter-finals of the Women’s Singles event will be played on Friday 4th August.