by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In a repeat of the 2015 final when he had suffered defeat and one year ago when he had emerged successful, Pak Sin Hyok, the top seed, beat colleague Choe Il, the no.3 seed (12-10, 11-13, 7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 15-13) to reserve his place in the final, having one round earlier accounted for China’s Ji Jiale in a hard fought seven games encounter (11-13, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11, 11-5).
Compatriot Kim Hyong Jin, the no.4 seed, awaits in the title decider; in the round of the last eight, he accounted for Kim Jin Su (11-7, 11-3, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2), prior to overcoming Ri Kwang Myong (6-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-3, 8-11, 15-13) to reserve his place in the title decider.
Attacking skills in evidence, for Kim Song I it was the defensive art. The top seed, she accounted for colleagues Jong Un Ju (11-9, 11-9, 13-11, 11-6) and Kim Jin Hyang (12-10, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 18-16) to book her place in the final where a familiar adversary awaits.
She confronts Cha Hyo Sim, likewise from DPR Korea, the player she beat in the final one year ago.
In the opposite half of the draw, Cha Hyo Sim, the no.2 seed, progressed courtesy of success in opposition to Pyon Song Gyong (13-11, 8-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-5) and Kim Nam Hae, the no.3 seed (11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8).
Play concludes in Pyongyang on Sunday 17th June.