by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
She accounted for Feng Tianwei (12-10, 11-8, 13-11) and Yee Herng Hwee (11-2, 11-2, 11-4); the wins coming after Mima Ito and Hina Hayata had given Japan the perfect start by beating Yee Herng Hwee and Yu Mengyu in the opening doubles contest (11-2, 11-7, 11-5).
The one win for Singapore was recorded in the third match of the fixture when Yu Mengyu overcame Hina Hayata (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10).
It was for Kasumi Ishikawa another memorable visit to England, especially to London; at the 2012 Olympic Games, alongside Ai Fukuhara and Sayaka Hirano, the silver medal was secured in the Women’s Team event. It was the first ever medal for Japan in the table tennis events at the Olympic Games; pertinently on that occasion they beat Singapore in the vital semi-final contest.
“England, so many wonderful memories and now today another great memory, I won both my matches on my birthday and Japan is in the semi-final. Feng Tianwei is always a tough opponent, her forehand is so strong; today I was able to control her attacking play but more important was that I seized the initiative, tried to be the first to attack.” Kasumi Ishikawa.
Success for Japan; they now meet DPR Korea in the penultimate round. In the round of the last eight, the no.9 seeds, they overcame Chinese Taipei, the no.4 seeds, by three matches to nil.
Cha Hyo Sim and Kim Nam Hae set DPR Korea on the road to victory by recovering from a two games to nil deficit against Cheng Hsien-Tu and Chen Szu-Yu (9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7). Kim Song I extended the lead by overcoming Cheng I-Ching (11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3), before Chao Hyo Sim brought matters to a conclusion. She beat Chen Szu-Yu in four games (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5).
The semi-final is scheduled for 10.00am on Saturday 24th February.