by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Impressive, at the final hurdle Guo Yuhan accounted for Li Jiayuan (11-6, 11-6, 11-4), having in an equally commanding manner, recorded the same margin of victory in the penultimate round when facing the host nation’s Kim Kum Yong (11-8, 11-6, 11-4); in the counterpart semi-final Li Jiayuan had beaten Choe Hyon Hwa (11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3) like Kim Kum Yong from DPR Korea.
Straight games wins for Guo Yuhan; for Cao Wei life was more testing. He had to recover from a two games to nil deficit against Kim Ok Chan (5-11, 11-13, 12-10, 14-12, 11-9), prior to securing the title at the final expense of Ri Jong Sik, like Kim Ok Chan from DPR Korea. He emerged successful in a most dramatic final decided by the very minimal margin (11-3, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 17-15).
One round earlier, Ri Jong Sik had accounted for China’s Liu Yebo to reserve his place in the final; true to tradition he needed the full five games (11-8, 13-15, 11-7, 2-11, 11-4).
Success for China in both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles competitions; in the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events, at the semi-final stage, it was mixed fortunes.
Against host nation opposition, Jia Jiale and Liu Yebo beat Choe Il and Pak Sin Hyok (12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8) and now in the final meet Ham Yu Song and Kim Song Gun, the winners when facing colleagues Kim Hyong Jin and Kim Ok Chan (11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-4).
Conversely in the penultimate round of the Women’s Doubles event it was defeat for Guo Yuhan and Li Jiayuan; they lost to Jon Kyong Mi and Kim Sol Song (5-11, 11-4, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7).
Thus an all DPR Korea final awaits; in the opposite half of the draw Cha Hyo Sim and Kim Nam Hae booked their place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to Lim Jin Hyang and Pyon Song Gyong (4-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-2).
Play in Pyongyang concludes on Sunday 17th June.