Winners in 1974 in Yokohama, on Thursday 30th September, Japan ended an almost half century wait; for the second time in their history since the tournament has been organised by the Asian Table Tennis Union, they secured the women’s team title.
Impressively, they emerged successful in Doha at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships.
The podium in Doha
In final, facing Korea Republic, the trio comprising Minami Ando, Hina Hayata and Miyu Nagasaki secured gold.
Minami Ando gave the champions elect the perfect start against Korea Republic. She beat Shin Yubin in four games (9-11, 11-3, 11-6, 12-10).
A four games success for Minami Ando, in the immediately ensuing contest, it was the very same for colleague Hina Hayata when facing Jeon Jihee (11-6, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6). Japan in the driving seat, Miyu Nagasaki accounted for Lee Zion in straight games to conclude matters (11-9, 11-5, 11-9).
Earlier at the semi-final stage both Japan and Korea Republic had recorded comprehensive wins, impressive 3-0 margins of victory being the outcome.
Facing Singapore, Shin Yubin set the tone, she beat Wong Xin Ru in straight games (11-2, 11-7, 11-8); in a similar vein Jeon Jihee overcame Zhou Jingyi (11-5, 11-3, 12-10), Suh Hyowon accounted for Goi Rui Xuan (11-6, 11-3, 11-4).
Likewise, opposing Hong Kong, Japan displayed no charity.
Minami Ando eventually overcame Zhu Chengzhu (11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 16-18, 11-8), before Hina Hayata beat Doo Hoi Kem (11-5, 11-4, 11-9) and Hitomi Sato proved too secure in defence when facing Ng Wing Nam (11-6, 11-9, 11-6).
Convincing, it was the same in the men’s team quarter-finals that needed to be completed.
Chinese Taipei recorded a 3-0 win against Singapore; Japan did exactly the same in opposition to Kazakhstan.
Chuang Chih-Yuan set Chinese Taipei en route to victory by beating Pang Yew En Koen (13-11, 11-6, 11-7); in a closely contested full distance encounter Chen Chien-An overcame Clarence Chew (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 13-11), before Feng Yi-Hsin brought matters to a conclusion. He overcame Beh Kun Ting (11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8).
Meanwhile, for Japan in opposition to Kazakhstan there were few problems. Yuto Kizukuri beat Alan Kurmangaliev (11-6, 11-6, 11-6), Shusuke Togami defeated Kirill Gerassimenko (11-6, 11-5, 11-5) prior the Hironoto Shinosuka prevailed against Aidos Kenzigulov (11-6, 11-8, 11-7).
At the semi-final stage Japan meets Chinese Taipei, the opposite half of the draw, places booked one day earlier, Korea Republic opposes India.
The semi-finals followed by the final of the men’s team event will be played on Friday 1st October.
Editor: Ian Marshall