by Ian Marshall, Editor
It was a day when new names were added to the roll of honour
………….Qualifiers, China’s Fan Siqi and Yang Huijing beat Hungary’s Dora Madarasz and Szandra Pergel, the no.4 seeds, in the women’s doubles final (8-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-2).
…………Four teenagers on duty, both pairs having been required to qualify, China’s Cao Wei and Xu Yingbin won the men’s doubles title; they beat Japan’s Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda in the final (5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7).
…………It was for both Chinese combinations their first ever doubles success as partnerships on either the ITTF World Tour or at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament.
…………Hina Hayata maintained her outstanding form to win the women’s singles title, underlining the fact that she is most adept against defensive players. The no.11 seed, at the semi-final stage she beat China’s Hu Limei (10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6), before overcoming colleague Honoka Hashimoto, the no.6 seed (9-11, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-3, 8-11, 11-8) to secure the title.
…………It was for Hina Hayata, her third appearance in an open international tournament women’s singles final. On the ITTF World Tour in 2014 she was the runner up in Chile, in 2016 the winner in Australia; later on the ITTF Challenge Series, in 2017 she succeeded in Spain.
…………Once again at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament Honoko Hashimoto was the bridesmaid. It was the fifth time in six women’s singles finals when she had finished in runners up spot. In 2017, she had been beaten in the final in Thailand and Belarus; in 2018 she won in Croatia but in both Belgium and Poland she had to settle for the silver medal.
…………The no.3 seed, Liang Jingkun won the men’s singles title beating Chinese colleague, Lin Gaoyuan, the top seed, in the final (6-11, 12-10, 14-11, 11-7, 11-6).
…………Liang Jingkun very nearly did not reach the men’s singles final. In the penultimate round he had to recover from a three games to one deficit against 17 year old compatriot, Liu Yebo. He emerged victorious by the minimal two point margin (10-12, 10-12, 11-8, 10-12, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9) in the decider. In the counterpart semi-final, Lin Gaoyuan ended the progress of Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.4 seed (11-7, 11-13, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7).
…………Another step forward for Liang Jingkun, it was his second career men’s singles title at an open international tournament; his one prior success being three months ago on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour in Austria.
…………A third appearance in a men’s singles final at an open international tournament for Lin Gaoyuan, his first defeat in the title decider; on the ITTF World Tour he had won in 2017 Austria, earlier this year he had prevailed in Hungary.