by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
After accounting for Liu Qi (16-14, 11-6, 11-9), she overcame Chau Wing Sze, a player who had also been required to qualify (5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9). One round earlier, Chau Wing Sze had dented Thai hopes by beating Jinnipa Sawettabut, the no.12 seed (11-6, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9); thus with the second round success gained by Tamolwan Khethkuan, national pride was restored.
“My first match of the day against Liu Qi, so I was a little nervous; I think I played too passively because I just played to put the ball on the table instead of attacking more. I switched to playing faster, long serves and I think that helped me win.” Tamolwan Khetkhuan
A quarter-final place as predicted for Tamolwan Khetkhuan, it was the same for Japan’s Saki Shibata and Satsuki Odo, as it was for Korea’s Shin Yubin.
After accounting for Singapore’s Pearlyn Koh Kai Xin (11-1, 11-6, 11-4), Saki Shibata, the top seed, beat Thailand’s Orawan Paranag, the no.11 seed (11-8, 11-5, 11-8). Likewise, Satsuki Odo, the no.4 seed, overcame India’s Archana Girish Kamath (1-11, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6), prior to defeating Chinese Taipei’s Li Yu-Jhun, the no.9 seed (11-8, 15-13, 11-7).
Impressive, in a similar vein, Shin Yubin, the no.5 seed, beat qualifiers India’s Swastika Ghosh (11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7) and China’s Hu Yueyan (11-7, 11-2, 11-8) to keep her medal hopes alive.
Last eight places as anticipated; the remaining four were very much contrary to expectations. They were filled by players who had successfully negotiated the qualification phase.
The biggest surprise name to progress was that of Korea’s Kim Hayeong. In the opening round she beat Hong Kong’s Mak Tze Wing, the no.2 seed (11-4, 11-5, 11-6), prior overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Fang Sih-Han, the no.14 seed (8-112, 12-10, 16-14, 1-11, 11-8).
Disappointment for Hong Kong but there was success. Zhang Wenjing after overcoming Japan’s Maki Shiomi, the no.7 seed (11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8), ended the hopes of Chinese Taipei’s Kuo Chia-Yun, the no.16 seed, to reserve her last eight place (11-5, 11-8, 11-4).
Impressive, it was the same from China’s Yu Yifan. She caused France heartaches. She recorded an opening round win against Pauline Chasselin, the no.10 seed (11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6), prior to ousting Audrey Zarif, the no.8 seed (11-7, 8-11, 14-12, 11-6).
Meanwhile, Japan’s Haruna Ojio, took full advantage of the situation that arose. After beating Korea’s Kang Dayeon, the no.13 seed (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4), she halted the aspirations of China’s Yuan Yuan (11-9, 11-6, 11-4) to book her last eight place.
At the quarter-final stage Saki Shibata meets Yu Yifan, Shin Yubin confronts Satsuki Odo; in the lower half of the draw it is Haruna Ojio versus Tamolwan Khetkhuan, Zhang Wenjing in opposition to Kim Haeyong.
The Under 21 Women’s Singles event will be played to a conclusion on Saturday 19th May.