by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Pyon Song Gyong commenced her journey to the final with success in opposition to Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn, the no.3 seed and the player who one day earlier had won the Junior Girls’ Singles title at the 2018 Canada Junior and Cadet Open. She emerged successful in five games (11-7, 11-2, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).
A fine start to her quest, Pyon Song Gyong accounted for Turkey’s Olge Yilmaz, the no.10 seed (11-7, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4), prior to ousting the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova, the top seed (11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9) to reserve her place in the final.
Good form en route to the decisive contest, the good form was maintained. She accounted for Germany’s Franziska Schreiner, the no.2 seed (7-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9) to reserve her invitation for Buenos Aires later in the year.
In the opposite half of the draw, Franziska Schreiner had beaten Chile’s Valentina Rios, the no.8 seed (11-7, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9) and Finland’s Annika Lundström the no.4 seed (12-10, 11-7, 11-3, 11-5) to reserve her place in the final.
Impressive from Pyon Song Gyong, it was the same from Kim Song Gun. He reserved his Buenos Aires ticket by beating Germany’s Cédric Meissner, the no.3 seed (11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6), having earlier in the day accounted for Switzerland’s Dorian Girod, the no.8 seed (11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11, 11-5), Canada’s Jeremy Hazin, the no.2 seed (11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4) and Hungary’s Csaba Andras, the no.4 seed (11-8, 11-3, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6).
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw Cédric Meissner had beaten, Trinidad and Tobago’s Derron Douglas (11-5, 11-4, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7), Singapore’s Josh Chua Shao Han, the no.9 seed (6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7) and Poland’s Artur Grela, the top seed (15-13, 2-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5).
The second qualification tournament takes place on Saturday 2nd June.
Continental Tournaments – Qualifiers (as on Sunday 17th December)
Africa: Youssef Abdel Aziz (Egypt), Nathael Hamdoun (Tunisia)
Asia: Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan), Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei), Wang Chuqin (China), Cho Daeseong (Korea)
Europe: Ioannis Sgouropoulos (Greece), Vladimir Sidorenko (Russia), Medardas Stankievicius (Lithuania), Vladislav Urdu (Moldova)
Latin America: Nicolas Burgos (Chile), Guillerme Teodoro (Brazil)
North America: Kanak Jha (United States)
Oceania: Nathan Xu (New Zealand)
Africa: Esther Oribamise (Nigeria), Marwa Alhodaby (Egypt)
Asia: Miu Hirano (Japan), Sun Yingsha (China), Jinnipa Sawettabut (Thailand), Su Pei-Ling (Chinese Taipei)
Europe: Lucie Gauthier (France), Mariia Tailakova (Russia), Ning Jing (Azerbaijan), Nadezhda Bogdanova (Belarus)
Latin America: Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico), Bruna Takahashi (Brazil)
North America: Amy Wang (United States)
Oceania: Vong Hui Ling (New Zealand)
Road to Buenos Series (as on Friday 1st June)
Europe: Bastian Rembert (France), Cristian Pletea (Romania)
Africa: Yu Khinhang (Azerbaijan), Amin Ahmadian (Iran)
Latin America: Matteo Mutti (Italy), Yanapong Panagitgun (Thailand)
Asia: Javen Choong (Malaysia), Manav Vikash Thakkar (India)
North America: Kim Song Gun (DPR Korea)
Europe: Andreea Dragoman (Romania), Lee Ka Yee (Hong Kong)
Africa: Tatiana Kukulkova (Slovakia), Sabina Surjan (Serbia)
Latin America: Jamila Laurenti (Italy), Goi Rui Xuan (Singapore)
Asia: Choi Haeeun (Korea Republic), Andrea Pavlovic (Croatia)
North America: Pyon Song Gyong (DPR Korea)