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.