by Simon Daish
Required to compete in the two-day qualification tournament Cho Daeseong has defied the odds in Spala, earning victories against the likes of Grigory Vlasov and Kou Lei on his way to the last four. Now Cho Daeseong is just one win away from reaching the Men’s Singles final but first the 15-year-old star must negotiate a difficult fixture with eighth seed Lim Jonghoon.
The upper half of the draw is also expected to deliver an exciting semi-finals contest as Jeoung Youngsik and Jang Woojin do battle; it was Jeoung Youngsik who prevailed over Jang Woojin in their only head-to-head international ranking tie back in 2015 at the ITTF World Tour event held in Korea – will it be a similar outcome when the two meet again?
Margaryta Pesotska carries the hopes of the European continent heading into the final day at the Polish Open as she attempts to book her spot in the Women’s Singles title match: the competitor from Ukraine has been handed a tough assignment at the penultimate stage of the event with third seed Yang Haeun standing in between her and a place in the final.
However, perhaps the most intriguing semi-finals fixture sees Honoka Hashimoto and Jeon Jihee meet face-to-face. Never before have the two players done battle on the international stage and with just the four seeding positions separating the Japanese and Korean competitors we could be in for an exciting contest.
Jeon Jihee will also be involved in the first title match of the day as she and fellow Korean Yang Haeun take on the pairing of Barbora Balazova and Hana Matelova of the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic respectively in the Women’s Doubles final. The mixed nationality partnership caused a major upset in the previous round by eliminating the top seeds from the competition, can they produce another shock result to lift the trophy?
The Men’s Doubles final then follows as the No.3 seeded duo, Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi and Lam Siu Hang fight it out with top seeds Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu before the tournament closes out with the gold medal encounters in the two singles events.