by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Required to compete in the two day qualification tournament, in the Men’s Singles opening round, he beat the host nation’s Xu Xin, the no.3 seed (11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6), before in the Men’s Doubles partnering Jang Woojin to a surprise quarter-final success against Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, the no.5 seeds (9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9).
Two wins against the odds, he finished the day with a third; joining forces with Yang Haeun and occupying the no.7 seeded position, the duo accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching (11-5, 11-5, 11-3).
The efforts of Lim Jonghoon rather overshadowed all and sundry.
Notably, in the matches completed in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event; like Lim Jonghoon qualifiers, England’s Liam Pitchford beat Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.11 seed (11-9, 11-7, 13-11, 10-12, 11-6), Jang Woojin overcame Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.11-6, 12-14, 11-3, 11-6, 11-7). Likewise Frenchman Emmanuel Lebesson ended the hopes Egypt’s Omar Assar, the no.6 seed (9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3).
Surprise outcomes in the Men’s Singles event but not where the leadg two names were concerned. China’s Fan Zhendong, the top seed, beat Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik (5-11, 11-5, 11-2, 13-11, 9-11, 11-8); Germany’s Timo Boll, the no.2 seed, accounted for Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7).
Likewise, in the matches completed in the opening round of the Women’s Singles event, there were upsets.
China’s Gu Yuting beat Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.5 seed (12-10, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 12-14, 11-2); Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee ousted Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.7 seed (14-12, 7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 17-15). Balancing the scales for Japan, Saki Shibata caused an upset of note by overcoming Suh Hyowon, the no.10 seed and like Jeon Jihee from Korea Republic (11-7, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9).
Notably of the top names called to Women’s Singles first round duty, China’s Zhu Yuling, the top seed, beat Japan’s Minami Ando (11-4, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7); Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.3 seed, ended the hopes of Korea’s Ji Euchae (11-3, 11-2, 11-7, 11-7).
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Doubles event Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan are the semi-final adversaries for Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon; in the opposite half of the draw China’s Ma Long and Xu Xin meet surprise semi-finalists, Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu are Spain’s Alvaro Robles.
In the Mixed Doubles Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito are the penultimate round opponents for Lim Jonghoon and Yang Haeun; the latter’s colleagues, Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee, who ousted China’s Zhang Jike and Wang Mangyu (7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10), meet Lin Gaoyuan and Chen Xingtong, also from China.
A successful day for Lim Jonghoon, it was very much the same for Jeon Jihee. In addition to her Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles success, she advanced to the Women’s Doubles penultimate round in partnership with Yang Haeun where they meet Japan’s Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa. In the opposite half of the draw, Mima Ito in partnership with Japanese compatriot, Hina Hayata confronts China’s Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling.
On Friday 1st June, the opening round matches in the Men’s and Women’s Singles events as well as the second round in entirety will be completed, as well as the semi-finals of the Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles competitions.