16 Jun 2018

China’s Li Jiayuan remains but of the contenders from foreign shores, she is alone following the opening round of the Women’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge, DPR Korea (Pyongyang) Open on Friday 15th June. The host nation ruled the roost.

It was defeat for colleagues Guo Yuhan and Li Yake, as it was for Iran’s Neda Shahsavari and Vietnam’s Vu Thi Thu Ha.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Guo Yuhan experienced defeat in a full distance seven games duel, losing to Pyon Song Gyong (6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7); somewhat similarly in six games, Li Yake was beaten by Jong Un Ju (14-16, 11-5, 12-14, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8).

Rather differently for Neda Shahsavari and Vu Thi Thu Ha, the defeats were more convincing. Neda Shahsavari was beaten in four straight games by Kim Song I, the top seed (11-4, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8); Vu Thi Thu Ha experienced defeat in a similar manner when opposing Kim Nam Hae, the no.3 seed (11-5, 11-2, 11-4, 11-2).

Brave efforts by Guo Yuhan and Li Yake, both impressed but without doubt, the most impressive performance of the round was that of Li Jiayuan; she overcame the host nation’s Ko Un Gum in four straight games (11-8, 11-6, 11-9, 11-2).

An imposing performance from Li Jiayuan; it was the same from Cha Hyo Sim, the no.2 seed as it was from Choe Hyon Hwa. Cha Hyo Sim accounted for Kim Jinju (11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5), Choe Hyon Hwa ended the hopes of Kim Sol Song (13-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-6).

However, for Ri Hyon Sim, the no.4 seed, the fortunes were very different; she was forced to withdraw from proceedings when due to face Kim Jin Hyang.

Outstanding from Li Jiayuan, it was the same at the quarter-final stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, a round in which there was better news for Guo Yuhan. Facing opposition from DPR Korea, Li Jiayuan beat Ri Il Hyang (11-8, 11-7, 11-4); Guo Yuhan accounted for Pyon Song Gyong (11-7, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7).

At the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event, Kim Song I plays Jong Un Ju, Pyon Song Gyong confronts Kim Jin Hyang; in the opposite half of the draw, Li Jiayuan faces Kim Nam Hae, Choe Hyon Hwa opposes Cha Hyo Sim.

In the remaining quarter-final Under 21 Women’s Singles contests, all host nation affairs witnessed success for Choe Hyon Hwa against Ryu Il Gyong (11-6, 7-11, 1-11, 11-2, 11-6) and for Kim Kum Yong in opposition to Ko Un Gum (11-8, 11-2, 9-11, 11-3, 11-3).

In the penultimate round Li Jiayuan meets Choe Hyun Hwa, Guo Yuhan opposes Pyon Song Gyong.

Meanwhile, at the semi-final stage if the Women’s Doubles competition, Guo Yuhan and Li Jiayuan face Jon Kyong Mi and Kim Sol Song, Kim Jin Hyang and Pyon Song Gyong oppose Cha Hyo Sim and Kim Nam Hae.

On Saturday 16th June, the quarter and semi-finals of the Women’s Singles event will be played, as will the Women’s Doubles semi-finals. The Under 21 Women’s Singles competition will be played to a conclusion.

Challenge Series 2018 DPR Korea Open Pyon Song Gyong

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Pyongyang Open