by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Listed at no.583 on the current world rankings, she beat Japan’s Sakura Mori, named over 550 places higher at no.23; the highest ranked player required to compete in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament. In hard fought contest Lam Yee Lok emerged successful in six games (5-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).
A quite staggering success; the win overshadowed four further contests which had resulted in defeat for the higher rated player, one notably involving an all Hong Kong duel. Contrary to expectations, Mak Tze Wing beat Minnie Soo Wai Yam; presently on the Women’s World Rankings, Mak Tze Wing is listed at no.169, Minnie Soo Wai Yam at no.29. Most unexpectedly, Mak Tze Wing won in four straight games (11-6, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3).
Wins contrary to ranking for Lam Yee Lok and Mak Tze Wing; it was the same for Russia’s Yulia Prokhorova, Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin and China’s He Zhuojia. World ranked no.331, Yulia Prokhorova beat Audrey Zarif of France, listed at no.99 (11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8); Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, named at no.143, accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tu, ranked no.49 (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7).
Noteworthy performances but perhaps the most noteworthy of all was that achieved by He Zhuojia; no current world ranking, she overcame Japan’s Yui Hamamoto in four straight games (11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9). Currently Yui Hamamoto is named at no.34 in the global order.
Defeats but other than for Sakura Mori, for the leading names on qualification tournament duty it was success; Japan being to the fore. Honoka Hashimoto beat colleague Satsuki Odo (11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 11-8), Saki Shibata overcame Austria’s Amelie Solja (11-8, 13-11, 11-3, 11-9). Not to be omitted; Romania’s Elizabeta Samara ended the hopes of Poland’s Kinga Stefanska (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6).
The qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 23rd May.