by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In a closely contested seven games engagement, she beat Zhou Yihan (4-11, 11-1, 3-11, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9), a key member of the Singaporean team at the recently concluded Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
A success of note and there was one more from Japan in the early contests but short-lived. In the opening round Shiho Matsudaira accounted for Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, winner on the ITTF World Tour in 2014 in Croatia and two years later in the Czech Republic. Most certainly an impressive win but in the next round she was beaten by colleague Yui Hamamoto (11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9).
Successes for Satsuki Odo and Yui Hamamoto, for her colleagues in the second preliminary round, there were also positive outcomes.
Miyu Kato beat the Slovak Republic’s Barbora Balazova (12-10, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9), whilst Miyu Maeda, Saki Shibata and Honoka Hashimoto all ended the hopes of Chinese Taipei. Miyu Maeda overcame Lin Chia-Hui (11-8, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6), Saki Shibata accounted for Chiu Ssu-Hua (11-11-4, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9), whilst Honoka Hashimoto defeated Lin Po-Hsuan (11-3, 12-10, 11-4, 11-6).
Similarly for another prominent name as proceedings began, there was success. Bernadette Szocs beat Belgium’s Lisa Lung (11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9).
Progress for Bernadette Szocs as anticipated having earlier this year won the Europe Top 16 but there was one notable casualty as play commenced; listed at no.98 on the current Women’s World Rankings, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Hsuan was beaten by Portugal’s Shao Jieni, listed at no.98.
However, the defeat could hardly be termed a major upset. On the ITTF World Tour in both 2015 and 2016, Shao Jieni won in Nigeria.
Play in the qualification tournaments concludes on Wednesday 30th May.