by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Minnie Soo Wai Yam beat the host nation’s determined Andrea Perez (9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 13-11); Saki Shibata accounted for Nolwenn of France (11-9, 11-7, 11-8).
Noteworthy performances but it was the three qualifiers who caught the eye. Kim Youjin caused the biggest upset by beating Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the no.4 seed (11-6, 10-12, 11-4, 12-10); closely following Yoon Hyobin ousted Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Hsuan, the no.5 seed (15-13, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7). At the same time, the latter’s colleague Su Pei-Ling ended the hopes of Japan’s Yuka Minagawa (11-7, 11-8, 11-9).
Impressive performances and once again Asia to the fore; of the eight players who enjoyed opening round Under 21 Women’s Singles success, seven were from that continent. The sound basic table tennis education that players in the part of the world receive was once again a telling factor, once again underlined as a reason for success.
The only exception was the all European clash which witnessed success for Oceane Guisnel of France in opposition to Spain’s Zhang Xuan (11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7).
Meanwhile, in the remaining first round Under 21 Women’s Singles contests the outcomes were as predicted. Hong Kong’s Mak Tze Wing, the no.3 seed, beat Leili Mostafavi of France (4-11, 11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4); Japan’s Satsuki Odo, the no.11 seed, halted the aspirations of Daria Trigolos of Belarus (11-7, 14-12, 12-10).
At the quarter-final stage, Minnie Soo Wai Yam meets Oceane Guisnel, Su Pei-Ling opposes Kim Youjin; in the opposite half of the draw it is Mak Tze Wing against Satsuki Odo, Yoon Hyobin versus Saki Shibata.
The quarter-final matches will be played on Saturday 31st March, the day on which the Under 21 Women’s Singles event will be played to a conclusion.