by Simon Daish
Two ITTF Challenge Series events took place at the start of August with DPR Korea and Nigeria hosting the action.
Olympic bronze medallist Kim Song I emerged victorious at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Pyongyang Open, lifting the Women’s Singles trophy following a fine performance against fellow compatriot Cha Hyo Sim. The host nation went on to receive gold medals in all of the remaining categories including in the Men’s Singles competition which was won by Pak Sin Hyok.
Lagos was the destination for the 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open. The two singles titles ended up in the hands of Egyptian representatives Omar Assar and Dina Meshref, while there were dramatic early exits for the likes of Quadri Aruna and Li Ping.
Alongside the two ITTF Challenge Series tournaments there were also two stops on the ITTF World Tour in August.
First up was the Seamaster 2017 Asarel Bulgaria Open which was held in the city of Panagyurishte. The event turned out well for the top seeded players in the singles competitions with Dimitrij Ovtcharov defeating Kenta Matsudaira to lift a Men’s Singles trophy on the World Tour for the third time in 2017, and Kasumi Ishikawa coming through the Women’s Singles final with a strong effort against Mima Ito.
Moving on to Olomouc, the Seamaster 2017 Czech Open very much panned out to be the perfect stage for two Japanese teenage stars to shine.
Mima Ito avenged her Bulgaria Open defeat in style defeating Kasumi Ishikawa in the Women’s Singles final across five games. However, the main story to come from Olomouc was witnessed in the Men’s Singles event as Tomokazu Harimoto stunned German legend Timo Boll to become the youngest ever player to win an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title.
This leads us into the Pongcast question of the month:
How old was Tomokazu Harimoto when he won his first Men’s Singles World Tour title?
Comment your answer on the Pongcast post via the ITTF Facebook page and share the video for a chance to win a piece of gear from Nittaku.
Watch the Nittaku ITTF Monthly Pongcast video below to see all of the major news stories from August: