Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour, Hang Seng Hong Kong Open
Sunday 9th June
Titles for China, clean sweep on final day
Lin Gaoyuan and Wang Yidi won the respective men’s singles and women’s singles titles on the final day of action, Sunday 9th June, at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hang Seng Hong Kong Open in the Queen Elizabeth Stadium; a day when China secured all four titles on offer.
At the final hurdle Japan was put to the sword, Lin Gaoyuan, the top seed, beat Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.2 seed (11-3, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7); required to qualify Wang Yidi accounted for Mima Ito (11-3, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6), also the second seed.
Success for Lin Gaoyuan meant he reversed the decision of last December when he had lost to Tomokazu Harimoto in the title deciding contest at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals. Furthermore, it was the second ITTF World Tour men’s singles title of the year for Lin Gaoyuan, the third of his career.
Always facing colleagues in the final; in 2017 he had beaten Yan An in the title decider in Austria, earlier this year he had secured the Hungarian title at the expense of Wang Chuqin; later in the year he had lost in the finals in Qatar and China to colleague Ma Long, the reigning Olympic and World champion.
A third for Lin Gaoyuan, a first for Wang Yidi, in what was her second ITTF World Tour women’s singles final; last year in Bulgaria she had lost to colleague Ding Ning, the reigning Olympic champion. Clearly Wang Yidi has a liking for Hong Kong Kong, in 2018 she won the under 21 women’s singles title.
Success in the men’s singles event, earlier in the day, there had also been men’s doubles success for Lin Gaoyuan; he partnered Liang Jingkun to gold; the no.5 seeds, they beat Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon, the no.3 seeds (6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8) to claim gold.
It was the first such title for Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan as a partnership, for Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon they fell one step short of repeating their success at the 2018 Grand Finals.
Meanwhile, in the women’s doubles event Chen Ke and Mu Zi, the no.7 seeds, secured the title at the final expense of Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Yoo Eunchong (9-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-5). It was the first appearance in an ITTF World Tour women’s doubles final for either pair.
Play concluded in Hong Kong, attention now turns to Sapporo; the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum, Lion Japan Open commences with qualification on Wednesday 12th June.
By Ian Marshall, Editor