by Ian Marshall, Editor
Only 15 years old, present at the recent 2018 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Tottori; Elizabet Abraamian set the example. In her concluding group stage contest, she beat Italy’s Chiara Colantoni (6-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 4-11, 11-4, 11-4), the highest ranked player in the initial phase of proceedings.
Success against the top name in the group; it was the same for her colleagues. Kristina Kazantseva beat Finland’s Anna Kirichenko (11-9, 11-4, 12-10, 11-0), Anastasia Komova accounted for England’s Maria Tsaptsinos (11-5, 11-5, 11-3, 11-7). Likewise, Maria Dolgikh overcame Sweden’s Filippa Bergand (11-8, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7), Maria Malanina prevailed inn opposition to Korea Republic’s Kim Eunji (10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-5, 13-11).
An unexpected defeat for the Korea Republic, conversely, there was unexpected success. Confronting the top name in the group in their concluding matches, Kim Jinhye beat Hungary’s Bernadett Balint (9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7), Kim Mingyung overcame the Czech Republic’s Aneta Kucherova (11-6, 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6).
Similarly, against the odds there was success for Slovakia; Nikoleta Puchovanova beat Turkey’s Ozge Yilmaz to reserve first position in her group.
Also, but in a somewhat different manner, it was first place for China’s Zhang Jieling; having the previous day in her opening contest beaten Poland’s Magdalena Sikorska, the highest rated player in the group (11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-8), she concluded her initial phase adventures with success in opposition to Russia’s Olga Vishniakova (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9).
Upsets but other than for Chiara Colantoni, the leading names concluded their initial phase matches unbeaten and there was more success for Russia, Valeria Shcherbatykh proved too strong for the Czech Republic’s Marketa Sevcikova (11-4, 13-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3).
Good form Valeria Shcherbatykh, it was the same from Japan’s Yumeno Soma who beat Poland’s Julia Szymczak (12-10, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5) and from Croatia’s Sun Jiayi. She defeated Slovakia’s Nikoleta Puchovanova (15-13, 11-5, 19-17, 13-11).
First places against the odds; the previous day China’s He Aige and Nian Shiyao, alongside Korea Republic’s Kang Gayun, Lee Yeongeun and Yu Sora had somewhat unexpectedly pole positions in their respective groups, as had Japan’s Miko Izumo.
Notably of the 27 groups in the initial stage of the Women’s Singles event, no less than 15 realised surprise winners.