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).