by Ian Marshall, Editor
The top seed, at the quarter-final stage she accounted for Russia’s Alina Zavarykina (11-4, 11-8, 14-12), before repeating her success of the previous week when facing colleague, Miwa Harimoto, like Alina Zavarykina required to compete in the qualification group process.
They had met in the final in the Czech Republic, on that occasion Kaho Akae had prevailed in four games (11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9); in Örebro it was a straight games success (11-5, 11-3, 11-7). A place in the final booked, she beat Sakura Yokoi, the no.14 seed (11-6, 11-9, 11-5) to claim the top prize.
“I had to be positive and think positive. I also had to be patient that helped me to play my best.” Kaho Akae.
Notably, earlier Sakura Yokoi had beaten Anna Hursey of Wales, the no.3 seed, in the third round (11-8, 11-2, 11-4), the stage at which Miwa Harimoto had ended the hopes of Germany’s Annett Kaufmann, the no.4 seed (14-12, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9). One round later Miwa Harimoto had overcame India’s Swathi Giri, (11-5, 11-9, 11-7) to reserve her semi-final place.
A fine performance from Kaho Akae; she gained the admiration of Per Hällström, the Press Officer in Örebro.
“Kaho Akae is very strong mentally, she never shows any weakness after losing a point. She just takes a deep breath, smiles a little and then tries to win the next point. Few other players smile like she does. There is always a smile in her face regardless of the result in the match.” Per Hällström
Meanwhile, en route to the final, at the quarter-final stage, Sakura Yokoi had beaten Egypt’s Hana Goda, the no.10 seed (11-5, 11-5, 11-3), prior to ousting colleague and qualifier Ami Shirayama (11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6), very much a player in the limelight.
No current world ranking, Ami Shirayama had overcome Singapore’s Zhou Jingyi, the no.2 seed (11-3, 11-3, 11-7) and Russia’s Svetlana Dmitrienko, the no.16 seed (11-9, 11-6, 11-4) to secure her semi-final place.
Play concluded in Örebro, the next stop on the ITTF World Junior Circuit is Santiago, the five day Chile Junior and Cadet Open begins on Wednesday 20th March.