by Ian Marshall, Editor
Furthermore, make no mistake it was a most creditable field; both Sweden’s Mattias Falck, listed at no.13 on the current men’s world rankings and England’s Liam Pitchford, named at no.17 were on duty; neither reached the quarter-finals!
Mattias Falck lost to Jens Lundqvist, Liam Pitchford was beaten by Li Yijie, currently playing for Halmstad BTK. Alas for both, one round later in the quarter-finals it was defeat, Jens Lundqvist was beaten by Truls Moregard (11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8), Li Yijie suffered at the hands of Denmark’s Zhai Yujia (11-8, 11-5, 12-10), the player Truls Moregard was to beat in the final (11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8).
Earlier at the semi-final stage Truls Moregard had accounted for Satori Aida (12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9) a member of Spårvägens BTK, Zhai Yujia had ousted former winner Xu Hui (8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8) who represents Eslövs AI.
Success for Truls Moregard, in the counterpart women’s singles event it was success for Canada’s Zhang Mo; the 30 year old ending Japanese hopes. At the quarter-final stage she beat Akane Ishida (11-2, 15-13, 11-2) before overcoming Yukari Sugasawa (13-11, 11-8, 10-12, 3-11, 11-7) and Honami Nakamori to arrest the title (11-9, 11-5, 12-10).
In the opposite half of the draw, in the later rounds, Honoka Nakamori had beaten colleagues Sawa Onodera (11-4, 11-7, 11-6) and Yuki Sanjo (11-7, 12-10, 11-8) to book her place in the final.
Meanwhile, in the mini cadet boys’ singles, the top two names, Japan’s Sora Matsushima and Singapore’s Izaac Quek Yong, both made successful starts to their campaigns; as in the cadet girls’ singles event did that of Anna Hursey of Wales.
However, for Ireland’s Sophie Early there was defeat, she was beaten by Russia’s Darina Nizomova (12-10, 5-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6), before recovering to overcome Norway’s Christine Kalvatin (11-7, 11-9, 11-4). In her second match, Darina Nizomova accounted for Sweden’s Alce Nilsson (12-10, 11-2, 11-5) to end the day unbeaten.
Play continues on Saturday 23rd February.