17 Jun 2018

Defending champions, the host nation’s Pak Sin Hyok and Kim Song I retained their respective Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles titles at the 2018 ITTF Challenge, DPR Korea (Pyongyang) Open, both emerging successful on Sunday 17th June.

Moreover, Kim Song I, the top seed made it three in a row; once again at the final hurdle accounting for a compatriot.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

In 2016, Kim Song I had beaten Ri Myong Sun in the title decider; in 2017, as it was to be this year, the player to experience defeat and having to settle for the second step of the podium was Cha Hyo Sim, the no.2 seed. Kim Song I emerged successful in six games (9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8).

A third title for Kim Song I and overall at open international tournaments it raised the number to four; on the ITTF World Tour in 2012 she had won in the Swedish city of Helsingborg.

Six games to secure victory for Kim Song I; for Pak Sin Hyok life was even more demanding. In the Men’s Singles final, he needed the full seven games to end the hopes of Kim Hyong Jin, the no.4 seed (8-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 4-11, 11-7).

Notably for Pak Sin Hyok it was his third appearance in a Pyongyang Men’s Singles final; in addition to last year, when he had overcome Kang Wi Hun to seal the title, in 2012 he had been beaten by colleague, Choe Il in the final.

Runners up spot for Cha Hyo Sim in the Women’s Singles event, it was the same in the Women’s Doubles competition; partnering Kim Nam Hae, in an all DPR Korea final, it was defeat at the hands of Jon Kyong Mi and Kim Sol Song (11-6, 11-4, 11-9).

Three titles for the hosts, overall it was the same number for China. The previous day Cao Wei and Guo Yuhan had won the respective Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events; on the concluding day of action Ji Jiale and Liu Yebo secured Men’s Doubles gold.

At the final hurdle they beat the host nation’s Ham Yu Song and Kim Song Gun (12-10, 12-10, 11-9).

Challenge Series Kim Song I Pak Sin Hyok

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Pyongyang Open