by Ian Marshall, Editor
Wang Yidi, the no.4 seed, after recording a semi-final success in opposition to Miyu Nagasaki, the no.2 seed and like Yuto Kizukuri from Japan (11-7, 11-6, 11-3), accounted for colleague Chen Ke, the top seed (11-4, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9), to reserve the highest step of the podium.
In the opposite half of the draw, in the penultimate round, Chen Ke had ousted compatriot Zhang Rui, the no.3 seed, the player Wang Yidi had beaten seven days earlier in the Bulgarian final.
“It was a tough match. It’s always difficult to play against your teammate as you both know each other’s playing style so well but I’m happy that I won”. Wang Yidi
Success for Wang Yidi in what was her fourth career ITTF World Tour Under 21 Women’s Singles final. Additional to the success in Bulgaria, earlier in the year she had won in Hong Kong beating Chen Ke in the final, having last November in Sweden concluded matters in runners up spot. She was beaten on that occasion by Zhang Rui.
Meanwhile, for Chen Ke, it was her fifth such final. Additional to Hong Kong, also this year she was the runner up in Doha when losing to Zhang Rui. Conversely, last year, she won in Magdeburg overcoming compatriot Sun Mingyang in the final, before in the first tournament on this year’s calendar emerging successful in Budapest. In Hungary’s capital city, she overcame Hong Kong’s Mak Tze Wing to secure the top prize.
A fourth final for Wang Yidi, it was the same number for Yuto Kizukuri. In 2016 had been the runner up in Melbourne, losing to colleague, Misuki Oikawa; last year in Incheon he had been beaten in the title decider by the host nation’s Lim Jonghoon in April, before in May winning in Chengdu when gaining a degree of revenge. In the final he beat Mizuki Oikawa.
In Olomouc, the top seed, at the final hurdle Yuto Kizukuri accounted for Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.2 seed (12-10, 11-3, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6), having in the penultimate round ousted compatriot Koyo Kanamitsu, the no.14 seed (16-14, 11-9, 11-8). In the opposite half of the draw, at the semi-final stage, Darko Jorgic had ended the progress of Yuki Matsuyama, the no.18 seed and also from Japan (6-11, 11-4, 6-11, 13-11, 11-6).
Notably for Darko Jorgic it was a first career final.
Yuto Kizukuri, the Under 21 Men’s Singles champion in Olomouc (Photo: Jan Brychta)