Tournaments

13 Nov 2019

Opening matches concluded in the initial stage of the men’s singles and women’s singles events at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open in Batam on Wednesday 13th May, Japan and Singapore emerged very much to the fore.

Taku Takakiwa, Jo Yokotani and Moe Nomura very much flew the flag for Japan; for Singapore Josh Shao Han Chua, Pearlyn Koh Kai Xin and Ten En Hui stood tall.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Currently no world ranking, in his one and only contest of the day in the men’s singles qualification tournament, Taku Takakiwa accounted for Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab, the leading name in the group; he emerged successful in three straight games (11-5, 16-14, 11-4).

A major upset, I would venture not; absent from the international scene in recent times, notably in December 2004, Taku Takakiwa was involved in one of the most epic boys’ team finals in the history of the World Junior Championships. Japan experienced a 3-2 defeat at the hands of China but in the third match of the fixture, note the score in the fourth game, Taku Takakiwa beat Li Hu (13-11, 11-13, 11-8, 23-21), the player who the previous year had been anointed world junior champion in Santiago. More recently Taku Takakiwa played in the Liebherr 2013 World Championships in Paris.

Taku Takakiwa in form in Bata (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Further defeat

Defeat for Mohammed Abdulwahhab, it was not the best of days for the young Qatari; in his next contest he lost to Josh Chua Shao Han (11-5, 11-7, 11-7). First place in the group rests between Josh Chua Shao Han and Taku Takakiwa.

Players finishing in first positions in each of the 13 groups plus three “lucky losers” drawn at random from the second placed players, advance to join the 16 seeds in the main draw.

Success against the top rated player in the group for Josh Chua Shao Han; for colleague, Clarence Chew it was the reverse scenario. After accounting for Indonesia’s Fandy Achmad Tululi (11-4, 12-10, 11-9), Clarence Chew experienced defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yan-Cheng (11-6, 11-5, 11-9).

A win against the odds for Huang Yan-Cheng but he is not the favourite to clinch top spot the group; in his opening match he was beaten by Jo Yokotani (11-7, 13-15, 11-9, 11-9). The outcome is that Jo Yokotani is the only unbeaten member of the group; in his second match of the day, he accounted for Fandy Achmad Tululi (11-4, 11-9, 11-3).

Huang Yan-Chen beat Clarence Chew but lost to Jo Yokotani (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Beat highest rated

The day unbeaten against the odds, it was the same in the qualification stage of the women’s singles event for Pearlyn Koh Kai Xin, Moe Nomura and Tan En Hui; pertinently all overcame the highest rated player in their respective groups.

Pride of place went to Pearlyn Koh Kai Xin, in her one and only match of the day, she beat Korea Republic’s Kang Gayun (12-10, 8-11, 13-11, 11-7) the highest ranked player on qualification stage duty.

Similarly, following success against the host nation’s Putri Sundari (11-0, 11-4, 11-2), Moe Nomura accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Yu Hsiu-Ting (6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8). Victory against the highest rated in the group in her second match of the day it was the same for Tan En-Hui. After prevailing against Lesty Salsabilla Rahma (11-3, 11-2, 11-8), she overcame Kheith Rhynne Cruz of the Philippines (11-3, 14-12, 11-7).

Tan En Hui unbeaten on the opening day (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Deciding first place

First place now rests between Tan En-Hui and Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Yi-Chen; Tan En-Hui accounted for both Kheith Rhynne Cruz (11-5, 11-3, 11-9) and Lesty Salsabilla Rahma (11-9, 11-2, 11-4).

Defeats but the door remains open; players finishing in first and second positions in each group advance to join the 16 seeds in the main draw.

Otherwise, with the exception of Kang Gayun and Yu Hsiu-Ting, for the leading names in each group in the women’s singles event it was a day without defeat. Most notably Korea Republic’s Kang Dayeon and Japan’s Kaho Akae emerged unscathed. Meanwhile, in the men’s singles event, the principal names all ended the day with first place secured; Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Hong Kong’s Li Hon Ming duly topped their groups as did Japan’s Asuka Machi and Masaki Takami.

First place for Padasak Tanviriyavechakul (Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong Table Tennis Association Ltd)
Also surprises

Unexpected outcomes in the men’s singles and women’s singles events; in the group stage of both the under 21 men’s singles and under 21 women’s singles competitions, there were defeats for the highest rated in the group.

Notably, in the former, Chinese Taipei’s Tai Ming-Wei lost to Vincent Picard of France (11-8, 11-3, 11-5); in the latter Singapore’s Wong Xin Ru suffered against both Chinese Taipei’s Lee Wan-Hsuan (11-5, 3-11, 11-6, 11-6) and Camille Lutz of France (15-13, 11-3, 11-4). Similarly, Korea Republic’s Kang Gayun experienced defeat when facing Cai Fong-En, also from Chinese Tapei, (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6).

In both the under 21 men’s singles and under 21 women’s singles events, players finishing in first and second positions in each group advance to join the eight seeds in the main draw.

Cai Fong-Eng caused an upset by beating Kang Gayun (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

 

Play in the qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 14th November.

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Challenge Series 2019 Indonesia Open Jo Yokotani Taku Takakiwa Moe Nomura Ten En Hui Pearlyn Koh Kai Xin Josh Shao Han Chua
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Day 3 - 2019 ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open