by Ian Marshall, Editor
Talent was evident.
…………tense semi-finals: Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the top seed, beat India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 12-1); Lin Yun-Ju, the no.3 seed, overcame Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, the no.20 seed (11-9, 11-7, 13-15, 8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8)
…………at the final hurdle Lin Yun-Ju beat Mattias Falck (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8) to win his first men’s singles title on either the ITTF World Tour or at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament
…………hard fought semi-finals: Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the top seed, eventually overcame the defensive skills of Japan’s Hitomi Sato, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 13-15, 11-8), Hina Hayata, the no.9 seed, upset the order of merit to beat colleague, Miu Hirano, the no.2 seed (11-3, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8)
…………Hina Hayata accounted for Cheng I-Ching in the final (11-3, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8). Thus she repeated the feat of one month earlier in Portugal and regained the title won in 2017 when the tournament was staged in Almeria
…………Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju, the top seeds, beat Russian qualifiers, Denis Ivonin and Vladimir Sidorenko to clinch men’s doubles gold (11-8, 11-3, 11-7). It is for the Chinese Taipei duo their second major international title; last year in November they emerged successful at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open
…………Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata, the no.2 seeds, beat Japanese colleagues, Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato in the final (14-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6). Thus they collected their third ITTF Challenge Series title as a partnership; last year they also won in Belarus and in Belgium.