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Sathiyan Gnanasekaran strikes gold in Olomouc

Thursday 26 August

India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the top seed, won the men’s singles title at the 2021 ITTF Czech International Open in Olomouc on Wednesday 25th August.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran celebrates

Impressive form, at the semi-final stage he accounted for Truls Moregard, the no.3 seed, the Swede withdrawing at the end of the third game owing to injury (11-4, 11-8, 11-2, inj).

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran most impressive

Progress to the final, he overcame Ukraine’s Yevhen Pryshchepa, the no.4 seed (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 14-12) to reserve the top step of the podium.

The win means he collected his third men’s singles title at an open international tournament.

In 2016 he succeeded on the ITTF World Tour in De Haan, accounting for Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck in the final, before in 2017 emerging victorious at the ITTF Challenge Series Spanish Open in Almeria. On that occasion he accounted for Japan’s Kazuhiro Yoshimura in the title decider.

Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, born in Beijing, claimed women’s singles gold.

Yang Xiaoxin once again

She overcame Audrey Zarif of France, the no.9 seed (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-2, 11-2), before accounting for Russia’s Mariia Tailakova, the no.8 seed (13-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9) to seal the top prize.

It was a fourth international women’s singles title for Yang Xiaoxin.

Previously, she had succeeded on the ITTF World Tour in 2014 in Zagreb, two years later she won in Olomouc. On both occasions she overcame Japanese opposition in the final, in Zagreb she overcame Misako Wakamiya, in Olomouc, she defeated Maki Shiomi.

Victory again in Olomouc and it was success again in August; the previous week she had prevailed at the WTT Contender Budapest tournament overcoming Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian in the final.

The Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova and Katerina Tomanovska, the no.8 seeds, beat Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn and Katarzyna Wegrzyn, the no.2 seeds (6-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9) to secure women’s doubles gold.

Truls Moregard and England’s Sam Walker joined forces to clinch the men’s doubles title. The top seeds, at the final hurdle they overcame French qualifiers Lilian Bardet and Leo de Nodrest (10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7).

Editor: Ian Marshall

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