09 Nov 2018

Gold medallists at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf, for Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa, there will be no such place on the podium in the Mixed Doubles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Liebherr Austrian Open.

On the morning of Friday 9th November they were beaten at the quarter-final stage of proceedings by the quite idyllic combination of China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen (8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Defeat for Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa who started the tournament on the Standings at no.7 (175 points) but their quarter-final finish does mean they can expect an invitation to the Grand Finals in Incheon in December.

Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, competing for the first time together will not qualify for Incheon; a minimum two appearance criteria is needed.

Conversely, Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, the no.3 seeds, by virtue of success against Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova (7-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-4) can now anticipate a December date in Incheon. They started the day in what could be regarded the 10th spot (82 points) when the appearance criteria is taken into account; they now move into the top eight names. It is the same for Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova, who when qualification for the Grand Finals is considered, commenced the day in the no.8 spot (89 points).

Meanwhile, in the remaining quarter-final Mixed Doubles contests, it was success for pairs whose ticket to Incheon was already booked prior to the start of play.

Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching, the top seeds, beat Laurens Tromer and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands (7-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-8); Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and DPR Korea’s Cha Hyo Sim, the no.4 seeds, overcame Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Han Ying, the no.7 seeds and reigning European champions (11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9).

“We are very happy to have reached the semi-finals here in Linz. Our opponents were well prepared but we helped each other in critical situations and so we could win. We also won the Mixed Doubles at the Korea Open this year, so we have qualified for the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in December. The tournament takes place in Incheon and we hope to bring also a good performance there. We are very happy to play together as Unified Korea. We want to show the world that we can join together as a strong team. It’s great and exciting to be part of the next chapter of Ping-Pong-Diplomacy.” Jan Woojin

Hopes for a place in the Grand Finals for Ruwen Filus and Han Ying are now over; the started the tournament in an overall 24th position (19 points).

At the semi-final stage Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching meet Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem; Jang Woojin and Cha Hyo Sim oppose Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen; the matches will be played later in the day in the evening session of play.

Sunday 4th November: Standings following the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Austria Open xu xin liu shiwen Kasumi Ishikawa Maharu Yoshimura

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Qualification Day 1 - Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Liebherr Austrian Open