07 Dec 2019

Welcome visitors, successful year after year, Japan dominated proceedings in the men’s and women’s team events at the 2019 Finlandia Open in Lohja; the high quality technical skills very much in evidence.

After two days of play, on Friday 6th December, in both disciplines, it was gold and silver.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Naoka Kawakami and Seiya Numamura emerged the men’s team champions, the counterpart women’s event was won by Yuki Sanjo and Shoko Yamamoto.

A 2-0 semi-final win was the outcome against Finland’s Benedek Olah and Miikka O’Connor. Disappointment for the host nation, Naoya Kawakami gave his team the perfect start by beating Benedek Olah (11-7, 11-7, 11-8), before Seiya Numamura overcame Miikka O’Conner (14-12, 11-1, 12-14, 11-1) to seal the victory.

Progress to the final in style, in the title decider, a full distance three match contest was the order of the day against colleagues Koyo Kanamitsu and Kaito Yoshida.

Bronze for Finland (left to right) Alex Naumi, Benedek Olah, Miikka O’Connor (Photo: courtesy of Finlandia Open)
ITTF World Junior Circuit success

Koyo Kanamitsu, a player who enjoyed notable success on the ITTF World Junior Circuit winning in 2016 in both Spain and Hungary, gave his team the ideal start. He beat Seiya Numamura (11-5, 11-7, 11-7).

However that was to be the sum total of his outfit’s success, Naoya Kawakami beat Kaito Yoshida (6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10), before a five games doubles success sealed the verdict (11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4).

In the counterpart semi-final, Koyo Kanamitsu and Kaito Yoshida had recorded a 2-0 win in opposition to the Belarus combination formed by Uladzislau Rukliatsou and Mikhail Tsyhanouski.

Comprehensive wins

Hard earned success for Naoka Kawakami and Seiya Numamura; in the women’s team event, victory was somewhat more comprehensive from Yuki Sanjo and Shoko Yamamoto.

A 2-0 margin of victory was the outcome in the final against colleagues Yuki Sanjo and Hiyori Okazaki; Shoko Yamamoto beat Yuli Sanjo in the opening contest (8-11, 11-2, 13-11, 11-9), she was followed by Yuka Matsuoka who accounted for Hiyori Okazaki in a similar manner (6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6).

Earlier at the semi-final stage Yuki Sanjo and Shoko Yamamoto had recorded a 2-0 win against Ukraine’s Alina Vydruchenko and Veronika Hud; by the same margin, Yuki Sanjo and Hiyori Okazaki had overcome the Belarus combination of Darya Kisel and Ulyana Alkhoskaya.

A most successful day for Japan, gold and silver, bronze for Belarus and Ukraine (Photo: courtesy of Finlandia Open)
Individual events

Attention now turns to the men’s singles and women’s singles; both events being played on the progressive knock-out formula. Play concludes in Lohja on Sunday 8th December.

2019 Finlandia Open: Results – Men’s Team (Friday 6th December)

2019 Finlandia Open: Results – Women’s Team (Friday 6th December)

2019 Finlandia Open: Entries & seeding

2019 Finlandia Open: Team Event Draw

2019 Finlandia Open: Local Website

2019 Finlandia Open: Roll of Honour

General News Japan