26 Oct 2018

One year ago the Women’s Doubles top prize finished in the hands of Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato. Now one year later the possibility of the Women’s Doubles title at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open being won by a Japanese partnership is very much an option.

Following success on Friday 25th October, Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata booked their place in the final where they will meet Luxembourg’s Sarah de Nutte and Ni Xia Lian.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The no.4 seeds, Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata progressed to the title deciding contest in some style.

They recorded a quarter-final success against qualifiers, the combination of the Czech Republic’s Dana Cechova and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands (11-9, 11-6, 11-6), before causing somewhat of an upset. They ousted the tried and trusted European partnership of Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota, the top seeds. Most impressively, just as in the previous round, they emerged successful in three straight games (11-7, 11-9, 12-10).

Likewise, Sarah de Nutte and Ni Xia Lian were never in danger of defeat as they secured their final place.

The no.2 seeds, in the round of the last eight pairs, they accounted for Austria’s Karoline Mischek and Amelie Solja, like Dana Cechova and Britt Eerland qualifiers (11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9). A semi-final reservation, they showed not a morsel of charity when facing the Hungarian combination of Bernadett Balint and Dora Madarasz, the no.7 seeds. Controlling matters from start to finish they recorded a straight games win (11-4, 11-4, 11-8).

Success and success for a very unique pairing; there is a 30 years age gap; Sarah de Nutte was born in 1992; in 1983 in Tokyo, Ni Xia Lian won the Mixed Doubles title at the World Championships when partnering Guo Yuehua! It must be the only partnership in any sport where one player has a partner crowned world champion nine years before the colleague was born!

Play in De Haan concludes on Saturday 27th October.

Challenge Series 2018 Belgium Open Saki Shibata Satsuki Odo

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Photo Gallery

Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open

Match Highlights