01 Nov 2017

Second place in the initial stage group in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open in De Haan meant a second chance; a place in the preliminary round and if successful progress to the main draw.

Beaten by Marie Migot of France in her group in six games (8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-5) had resigned Japan’s Haruna Ojio to runners up spot; nothing startling but in the preliminary round she was the player to attract the attention.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

She beat Sweden’s Daniela Moscovits (11-4, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8); a notable win, Haruna Ojio is listed at no.343 on the current Women’s World Rankings as opposed to the Swede who is listed at no.314.

However, the fact the win was posted against a higher rated player was not the subject matter to attract the attention; Haruna Ojio is a defensive player, a fact which delighted the crowd but more significantly, she is half the age of Daniela Moscovits, she is only 12 years old.

“I am really happy. Tomorrow I can play on the main draw against a top player. It will be a great experience for me. I can still improve but that’s normal for my age I think. This is my first international tournament at senior level. My dream is to become world champion.” Haruna Ojio

Tong Ling stand aside, the Chinese star is the most recent defensive player to win the Women’s Singles title at a World Championships; she won in 1981 in Novi Sad. Maybe Haruna Ojio’s grandmother but not mother remembers?

Success in the preliminary round for Haruna Ojio and there were successes for several notable names who had started proceedings as the leading names in their respective groups but had finished in second places.

Russia’s Anastasia Kolish beat Marhayta Baltushite of Belarus (14-12, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9), Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin overcame Luxembourg’s Danielle Konsbruck (11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9) whilst Spain’s Zhang Xuan ended the hopes of Russia’s Kristina Kasantseva (5-11, 11-2, 11-13, 12-10, 11-4, 7-11, 11-7).

Challenge Series 2017 Belgium Open Haruna Ojio

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Day 3 - 2017 Belgium Open