14 Nov 2018

A journey from the east, aspiring players making their first appearances on the international scene very much made their presence felt in the opening series of matches in the group qualification stage of the Women’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open in Minsk on Tuesday 13th November.

In particular, China and Korea Republic were very much to the fore; a competition in which players finishing in first places in each of the 27 groups plus five “Lucky Losers”, drawn at random from the second placed players, advanced to join the 32 seeds in the main draw.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Guo Ruichen, Guo Siyu, He Alge and Zhang Jieling, alongside Nian Shiyao flew the flag for China; Poland being the predominant country to suffer.

Most impressively, Guo Ruichen beat Julia Slazak (11-3, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-5), Guo Siyu overcame Katarzyna Wegrzyn (11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 11-3), Zhang Jieling accounted for Magdalena Sikorska (11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-8).

The wins not against players from the eastern European country were those secured by He Alge and Nian Shiyao. He Alge accounted for Lee Yearam (8-11, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9); Nian Shiyao prevailed against Russia’s Olga Kulikova (3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 14-12, 11-9).

Defeat for Lee Yearam, a familiar face on the international scene but not for her Korea Republic colleagues new to the scene. Kang Gayun, Lee Sobong, Lee Yeongeun and Yu Sora all enjoyed success.

Kang Gayun beat Finland’s Anna-Sofia Erkheikki (12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4), Yu Sora added to Polish disappointment by overcoming Anna Wegrzyn (11-2, 12-10, 11-3, 11-6). Meanwhile, both Lee Sobong and Lee Yeongeun caused Kazakhstan heartaches; Lee Sobong accounted for Anastassiya Laurova (11-6, 11-4, 12-14, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4); Lee Yeongeun overcame Aiya Alimbayeva (11-1, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3)

Success for newcomers from China and the Korea Republic; there was also one for Japan and turning the tables, one for Russia.

Miku Izumo wearing the colours of the Land of the Rising Sun beat Ekaterina Guseva (13-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-2, 11-3); Daria Chernova, like Ekaterina Guseva from Russia, overcame Korea Republic’s Kim Jinhye by the very narrowest of margins (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 7-11, 12-10).

Play continues later in the day in the qualification stage of the Women’s Singles event.

Challenge Series 2018 Belarus Open China Korea Republic

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Day 4 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belarus Open