Lausanne, August 24, 2012: The leading names in the qualification stage of the Men’s Singles event at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Harmony China Open in Suzhou, booked their places in the main draw, following the conclusion of the group stage matches on Thursday 23rd August.
Singapore’s YANG Zi and LI Hu duly reserved first place in their respective groups as did the Korean contingent of KIM Minseok, JUNG Youngsik, YOON Jaeyoung, JEONG Sangeun and CHO Eonrae.
Similarly, it was success for Chinese Taipei’s CHEN Chien-An and, for the most experienced of all, Sweden’s 46 year old Jrgen PERSSON, the 1991 World champion; he concluded his first phase matches unbeaten and thus reserved his place in the first round proper.
However, there were moments of consternation as proceedings in the initial stage came to a conclusion.
YANG Zi needed the full seven games to beat Hong Kong’s 18 year old CHIU Chung Hei (7-11, 11-4, 8-11, 8-11, 16-14, 11-8, 11-5). Similarly JUNG Youngsik was stretched to the limit by TSE Ka Chun, also from Hong Kong (11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 10-12, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7); as was JEONG Sangeun by Japan’s Yuto HIGASHI (11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 10-12, 11-6, 6-11, 11-2).
No surprises amongst the leading names in the Men’s Singles event but there were upsets amongst the female elite, with Hong Kong’s 15 year old DOO Hoi Kem leading the way.
Currently listed at no.163 on the Women’s World Rankings; she concluded her group stage matches with victory over Japan’s Saki TASHIRO, World ranked no.98 (11-3, 6-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-8) to secure first place in her group.
Similarly, Chinese Taipei’s HSIUNG Nai-I upset the pecking order to claim top spot in her group. Currently listed at no.215 on the Women’s World Rankings, she overcame Korea’s SONG Maeum, named at no.98 on the global list (9-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7).
The one other player to unexpectedly emerge in first place in her Women’s Singles group was Wu Yue of the United States, World ranked no.237. She beat Portugal’s Shao Jieni in her concluding match, a player making her GAC GROUP 2012 Tour debut and with no ranking (11-8, 12-14, 6-11, 10-12, 14-12, 11-7, 11-8).
One day earlier Wu Yue had upset the status quo by overcoming Chinese Taipei’s LIN Chia-Hui, World ranked no.139 (11-3, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 3-11, 11-9).
Otherwise, the principal names in the first phase of the Women’s Singles event emerged unscathed.
Japan’s Yuki NONAKA, Poland’s Natalia PARTYKA, China’s ZHAO Yan, Singapore’s ZHOU Yihan in addition to the Korean duo of YOON Sunae and PARK Youngsook all finished in first places in their groups and thus reserved main draw places.
Matches in the main draw of the Men’s and Women’s Singles events commence on Friday 24th August. —- ITTF/Photo: Tetsu Yamashita
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