by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Success for Yoon Hyobin but it was defeat for her colleague Kim Youjin, the elegant defender who had also been required to compete in the qualification competition, was beaten by Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm, the no.6 seed (11-7, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9, 12-10).
Mixed fortunes for Korea, it was somewhat different for Japan; Hitomi Sato, Honoka Hashimoto, Saki Shibata and Yuka Minagawa all reserved quarter-final places.
Hitomi Sato, the top seed, recovered from a three games to one deficit to beat Lee Zion, the no.15 seed and like Yoon Hyobin from Korea (11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6); in a similar hard fought contest Honoka Hashimoto, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of Luxembourg’s ever improving Sarah de Nutte, the no.14 seed (10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4).
Meanwhile, not to be upstaged, Saki Shibata, the no.5 seed, also caused Luxembourg pain; she ended the hopes of Ni Xialian, the no.11 seed (11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11, 11-9); whilst for Yuka Minagawa, a qualifier, she enjoyed the most comfortable passage of all. She received a walk-over against Italy’s Li Xiang.
Safe passages for four Japanese players but there was one casualty and not unexpected; qualifier, 13 year old Satsuki Odo was beaten by Hungary’s Georgina Pota, the no.3 seed (12-10, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6).
Success for the third seed, there was also success for the no.2 seed; Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam ended the hopes of Poland’s Natalia Partyka (11-6, 11-7, 11-5, 5-11, 11-3).
At the quarter-final stage Hitomi Sato meets Matilda Ekholm, Yuka Minagawa faces Georgina Pota; in the opposite half of the draw Honoka Hashimoto plays Saki Shibata, Yoon Hyobin confronts Minnie Soo Wai Yam.
The matches will be played later in the day.