By Ian Marshall, Editor
Only six years old at the time, at the KAL Cup 2010 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Seoul, during a break in proceedings, she enchanted those present by playing against Yoo Namkyu, the 1988 Olympic champion.
Now eight years later on the Flanders coast, she delighted once again; required to compete in the two day qualification tournament, she beat Germany’s Nina Mittelham, the no.11 seed (11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6) to continue her voyages in unchartered waters.
At the semi-final stage the defensive skills of Honoka Hashomoto, the no.3 seed, await; she duly booked her penultimate round place by ousting Hungary’s Dora Madarasz, the no.19 seed (13-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-3).
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, Saki Shibata, the top seed, opposes Miyu Nagasaki, the no.4 seed. In the round of the last eight, Saki Shibata ended the quite remarkable run of Indian qualifier, Ayhika Mukherjee (11-5, 11-3, 11-5, 11-4); Miyu Nagasaki achieved what in the past has been a problem for her compatriots.
She beat Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, the no.22 seed and twice winner on the ITTF World Tour; on both occasions Yang Xiaoxin beat Japanese adversaries in the final. In Zagreb in 2014 she accounted for Misako Wakamiya, in 2016 she beat Maki Shiomi. In De Haan, 16 year old Miyu Nagasaki found the answers, she recovered from a two games to nil deficit to record a six games win (7-11, 7-11, 11-1, 118, 11-5, 11-8).
The semi-finals and finals of the Women’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 27th October.