11 Jun 2018

Classic in defence and, judging by her performances at the recent Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships in Halmstad, ever more adept at changing from backspin play to execute a strong forehand attack; the host nation’s Kim Song I is the leading name on duty in the Women’s Singles event at the forthcoming2018 ITTF Challenge, DPR Korea (Pyongyang) Open.

Play commences on Friday 15th June, being preceded by a qualification tournament that begins on Wednesday 13th June.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Furthermore, Kim Song I is aiming for a hat-trick of wins. She emerged successful in 2016 when the tournament was a member of the ITTF World Tour and last year completed a successful defence.

Unquestionably her pedigree of success is far greater than any other player on view; in addition to memorably being a bronze medallist at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, she emerged successful on the ITTF World Tour in 2012 in Sweden, whilst more recently in 2017 concluded matters as a semi-finalist at the Universiade.

Next in line to Kim Song I are colleagues Cha Hyo Sim, Kim Nam Hae and Ri Hyon Sim.

One year ago, Cha Hyo Sim was beaten in the Women’s Singles final in Pyongyang by Kim Song I; meanwhile Kim Nam Hae reached the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event, whilst Ri Hyon Sim won the Under 21 Women’s Singles title.

Notable names but note one further down the list; China’s Guo Yuhan who will be required to compete in the qualifying tournament. Earlier this year, she was on duty on the ITTF World Junior Circuit in both Oman and Poland; impressively in the latter she reached the semi-final round.

In Pyongyang Guo Yuhan lines up alongside colleagues Li Jiayuan and Li Yake.

All three are players who may well upset the seeding; also a name to note is that of Neda Shahsavari, she competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games but, when she qualified four years earlier to play in London, she wrote history. She became the first woman from Iran to compete in the table tennis events at an Olympic Games.

Challenge Series 2018 DPR Korea Open Kim Song I

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Pyongyang Open