by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Impressively, Li Qian emerged successful in five games (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4) to the delight of the home supporters.
An upset and before the quarter-final contests commenced one wondered if there just might be another, a headline maker, it was not to be the outcome but it was a brave effort from Satsuki Odo who had started her journey in the qualification tournament and had left a trail of destruction in her path.
Only 14 years old, she was beaten in five games by national team compatriot Mima Ito, the top seed (11-5, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7, 11-5), now at 16 years of age a veritable veteran. One wonders how many times the two will meet on the international scene in the next decade. I suspect the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is far too soon for Satsuki Odo whatever results she may attain in the next two years but what of 2024 and beyond?
Success as expected for Mima Ito; it was the same for Miyu Kato and Saki Shibata.
Miyu Kato, the no.3 seed, accounted for Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching, the no.10 seed, in an intense six games encounter (13-11, 2-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9); likewise Saki Shibata, the no.4 seed, halted the progress of Germany’s Nina Mittelham, the no.26 seed. Impressively, she emerged successful in five games (11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4).
At the semi-final stage, Mima Ito meets Miyu Kato; Saki Shibata faces Li Qian; the matches follow the penultimate round contests in the Men’s Singles event which are due to start at 10.00am.