30 Oct 2018

Seeking to follow in the footsteps of illustrious colleagues, representing a country with proud traditions, the Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin and Choi Hyojoo won the respective Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles titles at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm on the evening of Tuesday 30th October.

At the final hurdle, Cho Seungmin, the top seed, beat Japan’s Koyo Kanamitsu, the no.7 seed (13-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-5), Choi Hyojoo, the no.17 seed, accounted for colleague Kim Hayeong, the no.26 seed (4-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-6).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Success for Cho Seungmin, the win to some extent atoned for the defeat experienced earlier this year when in Hong Kong he had been beaten in the final by Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju.

“Today my backhand was better than when I played in Hong Kong; also I was much safer. Koyo has a good all round game; at the start of the match I directed my attacking strokes towards his backhand but after the second game I focused more towards the middle and his forehand.” Cho Seungmin

It was the fourth occasion when Cho Seungmin had appeared in an ITTF World Tour Under 21 Men’s Singles final. In addition to earlier this year in Hong Kong, in 2016 in Belarus he had beaten colleague Park Ganghyeon in the title decider before in 2017 in Austria losing to China’s Xue Fei.

“I think in the past two years, in particular my services have improved; I have a wider range of services and also returning service using the banana technique has improved.” Cho Seungmin

Meanwhile, for Choi Hyojoo, it was title regained; in 2016 she had won in Stockholm. Earlier in 2015 she had emerged successful in Bulgaria and in Zagreb, the one common factor being that always she had overcome a Japanese adversary to secure gold. In Bulgaria she had beaten Miu Hirano, in Croatia Hitomi Sato; in Stockholm, Sakura Mori.

“Today was a case of being mentally strong, it was nothing to do with tactics; also today my backhand was much better than yesterday, I did not make so many mistakes.” Choi Hyojoo

Success for Choi Hyojoo in what was overall her sixth ITTF World Tour Under 21 Women’s Singles final, in 2015 in the Czech Republic she finished in runners up spot losing to Singapore’s Lin Ye. One year later, on home soil in Incheon, it had been the same fate when suffering at the hands of Japan’s Yui Hamamoto. In the Swedish capital city it was success.

Meanwhile, for Koyo Kanamitsu and Kim Hayeong, it was their first ever such appearance; totally new territory.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Swedish Open Cho Seungmin Choi Hyojoo

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