by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Equally, Wong Chun Ting is prominent in the Men’s Doubles event where he partners Ho Kwan Kit; the no.3 seeds, they face Chinese Taipei qualifiers Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju at the quarter-final stage.
Notably, the situation for Lee Sangsu and for Maharu Yoshimura, the player who ended the hopes of China’s Zhang Jike in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event is not a great deal different. Lee Sangu, the no.2 seed, opposes Japan’s Jin Ueda, the no.12 seed; Maharu Yoshimura confronts Egypt’s Omar Assar, the no.6 seed.
There is no recent international history involving contests between the two players but earlier this year Omar Assar won the ITTF Africa Cup in Nairobi, whilst at Team World Cup in London, Jin Ueda was crucial to Japan’s silver medal. It was somewhat surprising that he was not included in the selection for the recent Liebherr World Team Championships.
In the Men’s Doubles event, Lee Sangsu partners Jeoung Youngsik, the top seeds; they meet Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, the no.5 seeds, the runners up at the Liebherr 2017 ITTF World Championships and winners later in the year at the Seamaster ITTF World Tour Grand Finals. Similarly, Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura join forces, the no.2 seeds, the meet qualifiers, the in-form Swedes, Pär Gerell and Jon Persson, the first round winners in opposition to Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan, the 2013 World champions.
Exacting Men’s Singles opponents for Lee Sangsu and Maharu Yoshimura; it is the same for Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.4 seed. In round two he faces Quadri Aruna, the no.13 seed and recent Commonwealth Games silver medallist.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Singles event, the attention is very much on China. Chen Ke opposes Korea’s Lee Eunhye, the sensational first round winner against Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa; notably in the opposite half of the draw Singapore’s Feng Tianwei confronts Chinese opposition, she meets qualifier He Zhuojia.
The intriguing fact is that whoever prevails meets the winner of the all Chinese contest between Sun Yingsha, the no.11 seed and Liu Shiwen, the no.7 seed and former world number one.
Likewise for Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed, a testing Chinese adversary awaits; she plays Zhang Rui, the first round winner in opposition to Miu Hirano’s compatriot Hina Hayata. Testing opponents, similarly Wang Manyu, also from China will need to be on her toes, the no.3 seed she opposes Sofia Polcanova the no.16 seed.
Intriguing engagements, it is the same for the one remaining host nation representative in the Women’s Singles event. Lee Ho Ching, the no.12 seed, opposes Japan’s Mima Ito, the no.5 seed.
The door open for progress, it is the same for Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching in the Women’s Doubles event. Partnering, colleague, Doo Hoi Kem, the no.3 seeds, they meet Singaporean qualifiers Yu Mengyu and Zeng Jian. They await the winners of the contest which sees Japanese teenagers Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki confront China’s Chen Ke and Wang Manyu, the no.5 seeds.
A formidable Chinese pairing; in the opposite half of the draw it is the same with Hong Kong heavily involved. Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the no.5 seeds, face China’s Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha, the no.4 seed; qualifiers Li Ching Wan and Liu Qi oppose Japan’s Hina Hayata and Mima Ito the top seeds.
At the end of the day, the quarter-finalists in the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events will be known; the finalists in the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles will have been decided.