14 Nov 2018

Last eight places decided, in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, when play concluded on the evening of Wednesday 14th November at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open in Minsk, there were surprise names amongst the quarter-finalists.

China’s He Aige alongside Japan’s Haruna Ojio and Miku Izumo, required to compete in the qualification event, emerged the players to exceed expectations.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

After accounting for Japan’s Maki Shiomi, the no.7 seed, in the opening round (9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6), He Aige booked her quarter-final place courtesy of success in opposition to Hungary’s Leonie Hartbricht (11-6, 11-4, 11-7), likewise a player who had been required to compete in the qualification group phase. In the opening round she had ousted the host nation’s Alina Nikitchanka, the no.9 seed (10-12, 13-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-2).

Success against a player from the home country, it was the same for Haruna Ojio; she beat Daria Trigolos, the no.8 seed, after having accounted for Russia’s Maria Malanina, the no.13 seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-5) in the opening round.

Wins of note but arguably the most creditable was that achieved by Miku Izumo; after also causing Russia anguish by ousting Anastasia Kolish, the no.16 seed (8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7), she ended the hopes of Germany’s Wan Yuan, the no.3 seed (11-2, 11-5, 11-9).

Haruna Ojio now meets colleague, Miyuu Kihara, the top seed, He Alge confronts Poland’s Natalia Bajor, the no.4 seed; Miyuu Kihara booked her last four place courtesy of success against Croatia’s Sun Jiayi (11-6, 11-6, 11-3), Natalia Bajor ended the progress of Russian qualifier Elizabet Abraamian (11-2, 14-12, 14-12).

Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, Miku Izumo confronts Audrey Zarif of France, the no.6 seed; colleague Satsuki Odo plays Russia’s Valeria Shcherbatykh, the no.5 seed. In the second round, the round to determine the quarter-finalists, Audrey Zarif beat Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova, the no.12 seed (13-11, 8-11, 14-12, 11-6), Valeria Shcherbatykh overcame Sweden’s Filippa Bergand, the no.14 seed (11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6).

Hard fought wins, for Satsuki Odo it was very similar, she halted the aspirations of colleague Yumeno Soma, the no.11 seed (3-11, 13-11, 11-3, 13-11).

The quarter and semi-finals of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event will be played on Friday 16th November.

Challenge Series 2018 Belarus Open Haruna Ojio Miku Izumo He Age

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Day 4 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belarus Open