by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In the final, the 20 year old faces Austria’s Andreas Levenko; the no.2 seed, he justified his exalted status by beating Japan’s Koyo Kanamitsu, the no.10 seed, in four games (11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9).
The success recorded by Andreas Levenko was as ranking suggested but of the four players who contested the semi-finals, Koyo Kanamitsu was the only player who had reached an Under 21 Men’s Singles final on either the ITTF Challenge Series or ITTF World Tour. Last year he won in Zagreb at the Challenge Series tournament beating the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky in the final.
Coincidentally, it was a similar scenario in the Under 21 Women’s Singles semi-finals; the one player who has such a title to her credit or had reached a final departed proceedings.
Choi Hyojoo, the no.13 seed was beaten by colleague Kim Jiho in a five games contest that witnessed a recovery of note; in the third game Choi Hyojoo appeared to be honing in on victory (6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4).
Notably on the ITTF World Tour Choi Hyojoo has three Under 21 Women’s Singles titles to her credit; in each instance beating Japanese adversaries in the final. In 2015 she won in Bulgaria accounting for Miu Hirano, later in Zagreb she overcame Hitomi Sato to claim gold. The following year she succeeded in Sweden; at the final hurdle she ended the hopes of Sakura Mori.
In the Spala final, Russia’s Maria Tailakova awaits; the no.6 seed, at the semi-final stage she beat Shin Yubin, like Kim Jiho and Choi Hyojoo from Korea.
The finals of both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events will be played later in the day-