22 Feb 2019

All four semi-finalists, every step of the podium, Japan dominated the junior girls’ singles event at the 2019 Swedish Junior and Cadet Open in Örebro on Thursday 21st February.

Kahoe Akae emerged the winner, Yukari Sugasawa the runner up; Sakura Yokoi and Ami Shirayama, the bronze medallists.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

After, at the quarter-final stage beating Darya Kisel of Belarus, the no.4 seed (11-2, 11-7, 11-9, 11-2) and Sakura Yokoi, who had been required to compete in the qualification group stage (13-15, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8), Kaho Akae maintained her form. She overcame Yukari Sugasawa, the no.3 seed, (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 3-11, 11-6) to arrest the title.

Notably, in the quarter-final round, Sakura Yokoi had ended the hopes of 10 year old colleague, Miwa Harimoto, the no.14 seed (11-5, 12-10, 5-11, 11-5, 11-9), the stage at which Yukari Sugasawa had ousted Germany’s Yuki Tsutsui (11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5). A semi-place booked, Yukari Sugasawa beat Ami Shirayama (11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5), like Yuki Tsutsui a qualifier, to secure her place in the title decider.

Impressively, to reach the semi-final round, Ami Shirayama had beaten Honami Nakamori, the no.10 seed and winner the previous week in the Czech Republic (11-9, 11-9, 12-10, 11-4). All four semi-finalists from Japan, in fact the only quarter-finalist not of Japanese descent was Darya Kisel.

Success for Japan, for the top two seeds it was not a day to remember. Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan experienced a third round defeat at the hands of Honomi Nakamori (11-4, 11-5, 11-3, 11-4); one round earlier, Prithika Pavade of France, the no.2 seed, had been beaten by 12 year old Ser Lin Qian (4-11, 11-7, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7), like Goi Rui Xuan from Singapore. A noteworthy success for Ser Lin Qian, alas the euphoria was short lived; one round later she was beaten by Sakura Yokoi (11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 15-13, 12-14, 11-5).

Japan dominant in the junior girls’ singles, it was just the same in the junior girls’ doubles; Honami Nakamori and Yukari Sugasawa beat Kaho Akae and Miwa Harimoto (11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5) to claim the title.

World Junior Circuit 2019 Swedish Junior & Cadet Open Kaho Akae Yukari Sugasawa Sakura Yokoi Ami Shirayama

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Day 2 - 2019 ITTF Swedish Junior & Cadet Open