by Simon Daish
Impressive Run but Indian Star Bows Out
The Women’s Singles competition resumed with Round of 16 action in the morning session of day two with a couple of big upsets occurring in the lower half of the draw.
Manika Batra got the ball rolling with a stunning display leading the Indian to a six games triumph over last year’s runner up Saki Shibata (11-8, 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 6-11, 11-9) while Pauline Chasselin also upset Japanese opposition as second seed Hitomi Sato fell to the French player in dramatic fashion (11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 3-11, 10-12, 11-7).
Seeded 14th, Manika Batra had performed exceptionally well to reach the quarter-finals stage in Spala but that was as far as her heroic journey would take her; in the last eight Batra lost out to third seed Yang Haeun (11-4, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8), who meets Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska for a place in the final.
Displaying excellence throughout the day Honoka Hashimoto, seeded fourth, registered back-to-back victories without dropping a game with Choi Hyojoo (11-7, 12-10, 13-11, 11-7) and Tsui Pao-Wen (11-8, 11-3, 11-8, 12-10) both falling to the Japanese star. However, it was Jeon Jihee who stole the show following her powerful outing against top seed Suh Hyowon (11-8, 5-11, 11-2, 19-17, 11-6).
Gold Medal Secured, Success for Korea
The Men’s Singles title will be presented to Korea Republic after four of the country’s competitors locked out all of the semi-finals positions on day two.
Qualifier Cho Daeseong enjoyed a terrific day in Spala, defeating 23rd seed Grigory Vlasov (11-9, 11-7, 11-2, 5-11, 11-5) before achieving a thrilling seven games victory over second seed Kou Lei (10-12, 13-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8) to seal a penultimate round tie with No.8 seed Lim Jonghoon.
Jeoung Youngsik survived a major scare in the last 16 with Russia’s Kirill Skachkov pushing the 27th seed right down to a deciding game (11-9, 11-9, 11-3, 6-11, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8) but the Korean proved much more successful against Qiu Dang in the following round (11-6, 11-5, 12-10, 17-15). Fourth seed Jang Woojin beat Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic in straight games (11-7, 13-11, 11-8, 12-10) to claim the other semi-finals spot.
Under 21 Champions Crowned
Against expectations the host nation received a gold medal on the penultimate day of play in Spala as Marek Badowski upset the seeding list to lift the Under 21 Men’s Singles trophy.
The No.6 seed recovered from a two games to one deficit in the final, prevailing over third seed Andreas Levenko across five games (11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5). Unseeded qualifier Kim Jiho emerged victorious in the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition following a magnificent display against Russian sixth seed Mariia Tailakova (11-4, 11-6, 11-4).