18 May 2019

Miyuu Kihara emerged the most successful player when proceedings closed in Zagreb on Saturday 18th May at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Croatia Open.

After earlier in the day partnering colleague Miyu Nagasaki to women’s doubles gold, she emerged the women’s singles champion. Thus at the age of 14 years and 278 days old, she becomes the youngest ever at an open international tournament, since the ITTF World Tour began in 1996, to secure two titles on the concluding day of action.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Success for Miyuu Kihara, there was also success for her colleagues; Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda won the men’s doubles event. The only first prize to elude the Land of the Rising Sun came in the men’s singles; Sweden’s Anton Källberg reserved the top step of the podium.

Men’s Singles

…………Anton Källberg, the no.32 and lowest seed, proved himself a most worthy winner; at the semi-final stage he beat Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the top seed (11-3, 4-11, 11-3, 4-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-5), before overcoming colleague Kristian Karlsson, the no.2 seed (11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5).

…………Croatian hopes ended in the penultimate round, Tomislav Pucar, the no.9 seed, was beaten by Kristian Karlsson (11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5).

…………It was the first ever appearance for both Anton Källberg and Kristian Karlsson a men’s singles final on either the ITTF World Tour, or at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament.

Women’s Singles

…………Miyuu Kihara, the no.19 seed, beat colleagues Miyu Nagasaki, the no.18 seed (8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10) and Miyu Kato, the no.5 seed (13-11, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8) to secure the title.

………… Miyuu Kihara becomes the second younges player ever to win a women’s singles title either on the ITTF World Tour or at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament. Colleague Mima Ito remains the youngest; she was 14 years and 153 days old when she won at the 2015 ITTF World Tour German Open on Sunday 22nd March.

…………In the counterpart semi-final, Miyu Kato beat compatriot Satsuki Odo, the no.14 seed (11-8, 17-15, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Men’s Doubles

…………Qualifiers, Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda beat Belgium’s Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet, the top seeds, to claim gold (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8).

…………It was the first ever such title for Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda either as a pair or apart.

Women’s Doubles

…………Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki, the no.5 seeds, beat colleagues, Honoka Hashomoto and Hitomi Sato, the top seeds (11-5, 14-12, 7-11, 11-8) to claim the title and thus repeated the success of the previous week in Slovenia.

…………Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato fell one step short of winning the title three years in succession and becoming the first pair at an open international tournament to achieve the feat since the ITTF World Tour began in 1996.

Challenge Series 2019 Croatia Open Miyuu Kihara

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