12 Mar 2018

Nations with proud traditions, Japan and Korea very much vie for honours in the Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles events at the forthcoming 2018 ITTF Challenge, Polish Open in Spała; including the two day qualification tournament, play commences on Tuesday 13th March and concludes on Saturday 17th March.

Furthermore, both countries put their face in the defensive art; those who rely on the subtleties of backspin play combined with a change to executing a forehand topspin when the chance arises, head the list.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Suh Hyowon, representing the colours of Korea and Hitomi Sato flying the flag for Japan are the top two names in the Women’s Singles list; both players who have enjoyed success on the ITTF World Tour.

Notably Suh Hyowon is a past winner in Poland, she won in 2013 as well as in her native Korea; later in 2015 she emerged successful in Belgium. Likewise Hitomi Sato has enjoyed notable success, in 2016 she succeded in Croatia, whilst in addition last year at ITTF Challenge Series tournaments, she was victorious in Belarus, Thailand and Slovenia.

Korea and Japan at the head of the Women’s Singles list, it is the same in the Women’s Doubles event. Hitomi Sato and Honoka Hashimoto occupy the top seeded spot; next in line is the Korea combination of Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun.

Again just as in the Women’s Singles competition, both pairs have enjoyed ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles success. Hitomi Sato and Honoka Hashimoto have three such wins to their credit; Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun form one of the most successful pairs since the concept began in 1996 in the English market town of Kettering. They have seven such titles in their locker.

Moreover, at Challenge Series tournaments staged in 2017, both pairs secured titles; Hitomi Sato and Honoka Hashimoto won in Belgium, Croatia and Thailand, Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun in Spain.

Can the defensive art reap success? In the Women’s Singles event Honoka Hashimoto is the no.4 seed behind the machine gun attacking talents of Yang Haeun. Japan’s Saki Shibata and Egypt’s Dina Meshref are the next in line with yet another defender appearing in the no.7 spot; Russia’s Polina Mikhailova is the name in question. Jeon Jihee completes the top eight names.

A total of 132 players with 64 entrants receiving a direct entry to the main event will compete in the Women’s Singles event, overall 51 pairs, eight combinations with direct entries are on Women’s Doubles duty.

Challenge Series 2018 Polish Open Hitomi Sato Suh Hyowon

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