16 Nov 2019

Silver medallist in early September in the cadet girls’ singles event at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships in the Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbaator; on Saturday 16th November at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open, Japan’s Kaho Akae was very much the name to note.

Required to qualify, the 15 year old booked her place in the women’s singles semi-finals.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A second round reservation the previous day by ousting India’s Madhurika Patkar, the no.4 seed (7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4); one day later by the very narrowest of margins, she beat Prithika Pavade of France (7-11, 11-8, 16-14, 10-12, 7-11, 11-1, 13-11), prior to recording a quarter-final success in opposition to Thailand’s vastly experienced 39 year old Nanthana Komwong, the no.8 seed (11-8, 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10).

Progress to the penultimate round and in illustrious company, the remaining names are the top names; the respective top three seeds, Thailand’s Suthasin Sawettabut, Portugal’s Shao Jieni and colleague, Maki Shiomi

Very much Maki Shiomi followed the example set by Kaho Akae, she ended the progress of Thailand. She ousted Jinnipa Sawettabut, the no.12 seed (13-11, 11-6, 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5), prior to resisting a brave recovery by Orawan Paranang, the no.3 seed (11-4, 14-12, 11-7, 11-13, 3-11, 6-11, 11-7) to reserve her place in the final.

Maki Shiomi caused Thailand heartaches (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Success for Thailand

Disappointment for Thailand but there was success, Suthasini Sawettabut, the top seed, somewhat reversed the situation. After having ousted Portugal’s Luo Xue (11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5), she recorded a penultimate round success in opposition to Japan’s Miyu Maeda (11-3, 11-4, 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9).

At the semi-final stage Suthasini Sawettabut meets Kaho Akae, Maki Shiomi confronts Portugal’s Shao Jieni, the no.2 seed. Shao Jieni booked her place in the semi-final round courtesy of a close semi-final success in opposition to Japan’s Moe Nomura (11-7, 10-12, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11), followed by a more comfortable margin of victory when facing India’s Archana Girish Kamath, the no.5 seed (5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8).

Shao Jieni beat Archana Girish Kamath to reach the semi-final round (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Three surprise names

A surprise name in the semi-final stage of the women’s singles event, in the men’s singles it was three times that number; the only difference being that all were seeded.

Arguably the most unexpected is that of Ibrahim Diaw, setting new standards for Senegal; the no.7 seed, he recorded a last eight win against Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul (6-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4), before ousting Belgium’s Martin Allegro, the no.4 seed (14-16, 11-2, 3-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8).

Similarly, the last four presence of Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang was not to be expected. Lam Siu Hang, the no.5 seed, beat Japan’s Jo Yokotani (12-14, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-2), followed by success against Belgium’s Florent Lambiet, the top seed (11-7, 11-3, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8).

Lam Siu Hang ended the hopes of Florent Lambiet, the top seed (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Success for India

Likewise, in the opposite half of the draw, Amalraj Anthony caused a major upset. The no.6 seed, following success against Frenchman Benjamin Brossier (11-2, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2), he ousted Portugal’s João Monteiro, the no.2 seed (11-7, 16-14, 11-2, 11-7).

Success for India and there was more, the difference being that it was as anticipated. Harmeet Desai, the no.3 seed, beat Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam, the no.11 seed (11-7, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9), prior to ending the hopes of Japan. In the quarter-final round he beat Yuto Kizukuri (11-9, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 11-6).

In semi-finals Lam Siu Hang faces Harmeet Desai; Ibrahima Diaw opposes Amalraj Anthony.

Harmeet Desai safely through to the semi-finals (Photo: Tony Leung)
New pairing

Progress to the semi-final stage for Ibrahim Diaw contrary to expectations; partnering the player he beat in the second round of the men’s singles event, Padasak Tanviriyavechakul, a place in the final was reserved. At the semi-final stage they beat the French paring of Benjamin Brossier and Antoine Hachard (7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6), prior to overcoming Singapore’s Clarence Chew and Ethan Poh Shao Feng, the no.5 seeds (11-7, 12-10, 5-11, 11-13, 11-9).

In the final they meet Hong Kong’s Kwan Man Ho and Lam Siu Hang, the no.2 seeds; they beat Josh Chua Shao Han and Pang Yew En Koen, the no.6 seeds (11-7, 16-14, 11-9), followed by success in opposition to Amalraj Anthony and Harmeet Desai, the no.3 seeds (11-7, 11-9, 11-9).

A place in the men’s doubles final for Kwan Man Ho in partnership with Lam Siu Hang (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Portuguese duo reaches final

Unexpected men’s doubles finalists, in the women’s doubles it was the same but the surprise to a lesser extent. Luo Xue and Shao Jieni, the no.5 seeds, beat Chinese Taipei’s Cai Fong-En and Hsu Yi-Chen (11-9, 11-9, 11-5), followed by a narrow success against Kaho Akae and Miyu Maeda (10-12, 9-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-9) to reach the title decider.

In the final they meet Orawan Paranang and Suthasini Sawettabut, the top seeds. After overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Chen Tung-Chuan and Yu Hsiu-Ting, the no.6 seeds (6-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-6), they ended the hopes of colleague Nanthana Komwong and Jinnipa Sawettabut, the no.3 seeds (11-7, 11-5, 11-4).

Orawan Paranang (left) and (right) Suthasini Sawettabut justified their top seeded status to reach the women’s doubles final (Photo: Panichal Junkana)
Winners decided

Finalist known, in the under 21 men’s singles and under 21 women’s singles events, the winners were been determined; both Japanese and new names for the role of honour.

Yuma Tanigaki secured the under 21 men’s singles title ending the hopes of Chinese Taipei. He accounted for Huang Yan-Cheng, the no.6 seed (12-10, 11-8, 11-9), prior to securing the title at the final expense of Tang Ming-Wei (11-9, 11-9, 11-2); in the opposite half of the draw, Tai Ming-Wei had ousted Japan’s Jo Yokotani (11-6, 11-6, 11-3).

Yuka Tanigaki, the under 21 men’s singles champion (Photo: courtesy of ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open)
Prevented Asuncion repeat

Meanwhile, in the under 21 women’s singles event, Moe Nomura prevented Maki Shiomi, the top seed, collecting her second such title of the year, she had won in September in Paraguay. Impressively, Moe Nomura recorded a four games win (11-5, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10). At the semi-final stage both had ended the hopes of the Korea Republic. Maki Shiomi had accounted Kang Gayun (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9); Moe Namura had ousted Kang Dayeon, the no.4 seed (11-5, 11-9, 11-7).

Notably, Huang Yan-Cheng and Kang Dayeon were the only seeds to reach the semi-final round.

Play in Batam concludes on Sunday 17th November when the finals of the men’s and women’s doubles, in addition to the men’s and women’s singles semi-finals and finals will be completed.

Moe Namura, the under 21 women’s singles winner (Photo: courtesy of ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open)
Challenge Series 2019 Indonesia Open Kaho Akae

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Day 3 - 2019 ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open