18 Aug 2019

Follow all the thrills and spills from third day of the main event, Saturday 17th August, in Panagyurishte as two Gold medal events are decided at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open today:

Second consecutive title

Men’s Doubles: Final

Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.2 seeds, overcame Japanese qualifiers, Yukiya Uda and Kazuhiro Yoshimura (4-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8) to secure men’s doubles gold; thus repeated they repeated the success of one month earlier when they had won in Australia.

A second consecutive title, overall it was their sixth as a partnership on the ITTF World Tour.

Success for Jeoung Youngsik (left) and (right) Lee Sangsu (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Revenge as China prevails against Japan

Women’s Doubles: Final

Earlier in the day it was a pair from Japan that beat China to the top step of the mixed doubles podium but in the women’s doubles final revenge was achieved as China’s Gu Yuting and Mu Zi outclassed the Japanese duo of Miu Hirano and Saki Shibata.

On paper Hirano and Shibata entered the match as favourites but the fifth seeds were completely blown away by their unseeded opponents with Gu and Mu needing just three games to seal the title (11-7, 11-6, 11-5).

Gu Yuting and Mu Zi guide China to gold medal finish (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Quadri Aruna stuns Jun Mizutani!!!

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Unbelievable scenes in Panagyurishte after Nigerian hero Quadri Aruna knocks Japanese no.4 seed Jun Mizutani in a seven-game thriller!

Trailing 1-2 on games but Aruna is well known for his comebacks and his fighting spirit shone through on this occasion, saving two game points in game four before going on to recover from 4-9 down to win game five 11-9. Mizutani responded well to claim game six, forcing a decider: 9-6 down Mizutani refused to give up the fight, going on to hold two match point opportunities. However, Aruna showed nerves of steel, saving both points before going on to steal the win (8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11).

Freit-train arrives!

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Portuguese qualifier Marcos Freitas is through to the last four in Panagyurishte thanks to a fantastic victory over no.15 seed Chuang Chih-Yuan.

At the start of play it was the Chinese Taipei player who looked good for the win, claiming the opening game by an eight point margin but Freitas also enjoyed his spells of dominance over the course of the match. Ultimately it was game seven that produced the main story: 6-7 down Freitas opted to call a timeout, a decision that proved useful as the Portuguese star fought back to win the decider 11-9 and earn his spot in the penultimate round (3-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-13, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Marcos Freitas extends stay in Panagyurishte (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Top seed Harimoto sails through

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Tomokazu Harimoto takes his place in the semi-finals of the men’s singles draw following a tight affair with fellow Japanese compatriot Takuya Jin.

Down 3-0 on the scoreboard Jin needed to form a response and one did arrive with the qualifier pulling a game back. Then in game five Jin held game point advantage on two occasions but failed to convert as top seed Harimoto held his nerve, sealing the win by a 4-1 margin (11-7, 11-6, 14-12, 7-11, 13-11).

Dima falls

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s men’s singles run has concluded at the quarter-finals stage in Panagyurishte after the second seed from German lost out to world no.110 Zhao Zihao in an exciting battle.

The 22-year-old penhold grip player from China started strongly and deservedly gained a healthy 2-0 lead. Up against the ropes Dima raised his performance, winning two of the next three games to reduce the deficit to 3-2. In game six the two players gave it their all but there could only be one winner and that proved to be Zhao Zihao (11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9).

Dima halted in last eight (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Aruna vs Mizutani

Who’s excited to see Nigerian star Quadri Aruna take on mixed doubles champion Jun Mizutani?

Jun & Mima strike Gold

Mixed Doubles: Finals

In the first final of the day, Japanese duo Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito struck Gold as they beat the Chinese pairing of Ma Te and Wu Yang 3-1 (11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9).

It was a hotly contested encounter, with neither pair looking to back off from the table too much, meaning shorter rallies and important points. Mizutani and Ito took an early two game lead, forcing their opponents to hit back in the third to keep the match going. Eventually, it came to nothing as Japan’s favorite team-up took the win which was their first ever mixed doubles title!

Xingtong continues impressive run

Women’s Singles: Quarter-finals

Chen Xingtong has totally re-written the script in the women’s singles tournament here in Bulgaria, as she defeated Jeon Jihee in straight games to reach the semi-finals (11-6, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4).

The 22-year-old Chinese had previously defeated Japan’s Miu Hirano convincingly and facing off against the Korean today, she looked even more of a threat. Chen’s service was unmatched as she played her shakehand attacking grip to perfection. She now faces Mima Ito in the semis.

Powerful Chen Xingtong sends a warning in Bulgaria.
Mima makes the semis

Women’s Singles: Quarter-finals

Mima Ito turned the morning around for Japanese fans as she glided past Yu Mengyu, defeating the Singaporean 4-1 (11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8).

Having beaten Miyu Kato in the previous round, a lot was expected from Yu when she lined up against Ito. But it seemed like Ito was out to avenge her compatriot’s loss and pushed Yu into corners with powerful drives off her forehand. It ended a good run for Yu, who will look back at this match and take a good experience back from it.

Imperious Mima Ito into the semi-finals.
Double morning blow for Japan

Women’s Singles: Quarter-finals

It was hardly an ideal start for Japan today, as two of their athletes exited at the quarter-final stage to Chinese opponents-with one of them suffering an illness.

Hitomi Sato had to withdraw early in the hours of Saturday, giving Wu Yang a simple passage to the semi-finals. Top seed Kasumi Ishikawa suffered a loss in four straight games, after a dominant performance by He Zhuojia in a match lasting just under 39 minutes (12-10, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4)!

And the main stages continue!

Catch all the live scores and upsets, here:

World Tour 2019 Asarel Bulgaria Open 2019 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open

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Photo Gallery

Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open

Match Highlights