by Simon Daish
Fierce rivalry and a point to prove
Follow the action from 10.00 am local time as two of China’s finest collide with Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling going head-to-head. The two have met a whopping 22 times on the international stage with 11 wins apiece – Chen Meng won their previous encounter at the 2019 China Open but can Zhu Yuling respond this time out?
Then it’s time to see if Kasumi Ishikawa can exact revenge as she takes on 18-year-old Chinese opponent Sun Yingsha: last time out at the 2019 Japan Open Ishikawa was on the wrong side of a 4-0 drubbing but will be extra motivated to reverse the outcome in Busan.
Two quarter-final matches from the men’s singles event are next on the schedule. First up we will see Tomokazu Harimoto and Wang Chuqin go up against one another for the first time at senior level before the host nation’s Jeoung Youngsik attempts a massive upset against top seed Fan Zhendong.
Can China secure three titles?
At approximately 1.20 pm local time you can watch the first gold medal contest of the 2019 Korea Open: the mixed doubles final. Top seeds, reigning world champions and regarded as the strongest mixed doubles pair in the game, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen are hot favourites for success but Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem won gold on Korean soil at the 2018 Grand Finals so we should be set for an exciting duel.
Xu Xin will also feature in the next final as he and teammate Fan Zhendong face the host nation duo of Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu in the men’s doubles title decider, scheduled for 4.00 pm local time. There is also Korean interest in the women’s doubles final as sixth seeds Choi Hyojoo and Yang Haeun take on the top seeded Chinese partnership of Chen Meng and Wang Manyu.
Another Swedish foe awaits Ma Long
Facing Mattias Falck at the final stage of the Liebherr 2019 World Championships, in Busan Ma Long does battle with another Swede in the form of Kristian Karlsson at 5.40 pm. Claiming a fantastic win against Jun Miztuani in the opening round, Karlsson went on to account for Falck in round two, while Ma Long heads into the match off the back of a tight seven-game win against Lim Jonghoon – could we be set for a monumental upset?
An all-China affair follows as Liang Jingkun attempts to dump world no.1 Xu Xin out of the running before we reach two thrilling women’s singles fixtures.
Still searching for her first singles gold on the 2019 ITTF World Tour, Ding Ning “The Queen of Hearts” could be set for quite a test with opponent Jeon Jihee having the added bonus of the home fans on her side. Japan’s Mima Ito then chases what would be only her second-ever victory over Wang Manyu in the closing fixture of the day.