Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour, Hang Seng Hong Kong Open
Wednesday 5th June
Grand Finals winner departs at first attempt
Winner at the 2002 Grand Finals, on Wednesday 5th June at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hang Seng Hong Kong Open it was defeat in his opening match, Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan was beaten by Qiu Dang (11-6, 15-13, 11-4, 11-8).
Success for Qiu Dang, he duly maintained his form to overcome Frenchman Can Akkuzu (5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9) to reserve his main draw place.
No place in the next stage for Chuang Chih-Yuan but for other leading names there was success. Most notably Japan’s Kazuhiro Yoshimura, the defending champion, reserved his place in the main draw as did elder brother Maharu. In the final qualification round Kazuhiro Yoshimura beat the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek (11-6, 12-10, 2-11, 2-11, 12-10, 11-8); Maharu Yoshimura added more pain to the Chinese Taipei camp by ousting Liao Cheng-Ting (11-5, 11-8, 11-4, 4-11, 11-6).
Equally, the leading name on qualification duty enjoyed success; in the third and concluding preliminary round, India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaranaccounted for Denmark’s Zhai Yujia (5-11, 5-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10); China’s Wang Chuqin, the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist, overcame Amalraj Anthony, like SathiyanGnanasekaran from India (5-11, 5-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10).
Mixed fortunes for India but at the close of the day, overall the balance was in their favour; SharathKamal Achanta beat Denmark’s Jonathan Groth(11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9) to secure his main draw place.
Similarly, in addition to Wang Chuqin colleagues Ma Te and Zheng Peifeng both progressed to the main draw; conversely for the host nation it was defeat, in the third qualifying round Lam Siu Hang lost to Germany’s Ricardo Walther (8-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8), Jiang Tianyi departed one round earlier, he was beaten by Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic(6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5).
Disappointment for Hong Kong but in the women’s singles competition it was better news; Minnie Soo Wai Yam overcame Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo(11-6, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9) to reserve her place in the main draw (11-6, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9).
Noteworthy from Minnie Soo Wai Yam, it was the same from China’s Mu Zi and Feng Yalan, both players who have ITTF World Tour women’s singles titles to their credit and both players who could have a major impact on the outcome in Hong Kong. In the concluding preliminary round, Mu Zibeat Hungary’s Georgina Pota (12-10, 11-5, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7), the winner last month at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Series Slovenia Open (12-10, 11-5, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7), Feng Yalanaccounted for Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8).
Fine performances but the performance of the day, the vote goes to Japanese teenagers, Miyuu Kiharaand Miyu Nagasaki; they progressed to the main draw courtesy of success against arguably Europe’s top pair. They beat Romania’s Daniela Monteiro-Dodean and Elizabeta Samara (12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 11-4), the 2009 and 2012 European Champions.
By Ian Marshall, Editor
Photo Credit: ITTF