by Ian Marshall
At the semi-final stage, the no.6 seed, she was required to save one match point in the fifth game of her contest against colleague, Saki Shibata, the no.8 seed (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10), before eventually securing the title at the hands of Korea Republic’s surprise finalist, Shin Yubin (7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4).
Earlier, Shin Yubin had avenged her defeat in the women’s team final when losing to Minami Ando, like Hina Hayata and Saki Shibata from Japan.
On the third day of action Shin Yubin had experienced defeat in four games (8-11, 11-3, 11-6, 12-10); on the penultimate day, she reversed the verdict (8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7).
Success for Hina Hayata means she becomes the fourth player representing Japan, since 1972 when the tournament came under the authority of the Asian Table Tennis Union, to lift the women’s singles title.
Tomie Edano won in 1974 in Yokohama, Chire Koyama in 1996 in Kallang and Miu Hirano in 2017 in Wuxi; Chire Koyama is the former He Zhili when representing China won on three consecutive occasions starting in 1984 in Islamabad.
Gold for Hina Hayata, earlier in the afternoon there had been further success.
Partnering Shunsuke Togami, the duo beat Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and Jeon Jihee (6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9) to secure the mixed doubles title.
Thus, they became the first Japanese pair to claim the title since 1978 when Seiji Ono and Kayo Sugaya won in Kuala Lumpur.
Notably Japan won the mixed doubles title in the first four editions of the tournament. Prior to 1978, Nobuhiko Hasegawa and Yasuko Konno had won in 1972 in Beijing, Mitsuru Kohno and Tomie Edano in 1974 in Yokohama, Tetsuo Inoue and Mitsuko Shimamoto in 1976 in Pyongyang.
Titles for Japan, there was more; Shinosuke Togami and Yukiya Uda emerged the men’s doubles champions; at the final hurdle they overcame Jang Woojin and Korea Republic colleague, Lim Jonghoon (13-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9).
Earlier in the morning session of play, both pairs had ousted Indian adversaries. Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon overcame Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar (12-10, 11-5, 11-6), Shunsuke Togami and Yukiya Uda ended the hopes of Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekeran (11-5, 11-9, 13-11).
It was the first success in the event for Japan since Tetsuo Inoue and Mitsuru Kohno won in 1976 in Pyongyang.
Previously, Tetsuo Inoue and Mitsuru Kohno had succeded in 1972 in Beijing, Nobuhiko Hasegawa and Mitsuri Kohno in 1974 in Yokohama.
On Tuesday 5th October, the closing day of play in Doha, the men’s singles and women’s doubles titles with be decided.