27 Jul 2019

Places in the main draw the reward, the host nation was very much in evidence on Thursday 25th July, the closing date of qualification for places in the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Pyongyang Open.

However, there was one visitor who in particular attracted the attention; Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yan-Cheng was very much a young man in form.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Hard earned but in both the men’s singles and under 21 men’s singles events, the 16 year old reserved his place in the main draw.

In the men’s singles, facing host nation opponents, he beat Kim Song Il (7-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-6), before overcoming Kim Hak Yong to reserve first position in the group (11-9, 11-5, 6-11, 9-11, 11-7).

Somewhat differently, in the under 21 men’s singles competition, on the second day of action, he experienced defeat at the hands of DPR Korea’s Ham Yu Song, the top seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-7) but secured second place as a result of the previous day having beaten India’s Mudit Dani (11-5, 11-9, 12-10) and Ryu Kuk Bin (11-5, 11-6, 11-9), like Ham Yu Song from the host nation.

Players finishing in first and second positions in each group in the under 21 men’s singles event advanced to the main draw; in the men’s singles, only first place guaranteed progress.

A place in the main draw of the under 21 men’s singles event for Huang Yan-Cheng, it was the same for colleagues Huang Yu-Jen and Feng Yi-Hsin as it was for Iran’s Amir Hossein Hodaei; all three ended the day in first positions.

Meanwhile, in the women’s singles, the player to stand out from the crowd was China’s Gu Ruochen. After being extended the full distance by DPR Korea’s Kim Mi Ra one day earlier (11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6), a straight games win in opposition to Chinese Taipei’s Cai Fong-En (11-2, 11-3, 12-10) secured first place.

Disappointment for Chinese Taipei but there was success in the under 21 women’s singles event. Similarly in a competition where finishing in the first two places in the group stage ensured progress, Chen Tung-Chen progressed as did Norway’s Ilka Duval.

Play in the main draw commences on Friday 26th July.

Challenge Series 2019 Seamaster Pyongyang Open Huang Yan-Cheng

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Day 3 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Pyongyang Open