Silver in Bangkok and Lisbon turns to gold for Japan in Doha
In Bangkok and in Lisbon, the most recent editions of the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, Japan had been required to settle for runners up spot in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event; on the morning of Sunday 11th December at the Seamaster 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Doha that sequence came to a halt.
Hina Hayata beat Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem in five games (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-7) to clinch the highly valued title.
Thus Hina Hayata climbed one step higher than her immediate predecessors. In 2014 in Bangkok, Miyu Maeda had been beaten in the final by Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu; last year in Lisbon, Yui Hamamoto lost to Singapore’s Lin Ye.
Additionally, success for Hina Hayata meant that the title belonged to Japan for the fifth time since first being contested in 2005 but Hina Hayata was only the third Japanese winner. Yuka Ishigaki had won in 2008 in Macao and in 2010 in Seoul, Kasumi Ishikawa had succeeded in London in 2011 and the following year in Hangzhou
Defeat for Doo Hoi Kem, a second runners up finish for Hong Kong, never the title. Doo Hoi Kem matched the efforts of Ng Wing Nam, the only other Hong Kong player to reach the final; in the 2013 version staged in Dubai in early 2014, Ng Wing Nam had been beaten in the final by Singapore’s Lin Ye.
It was very much the final between players of a not too dissimilar record in Under 21 Women’s Singles events on the ITTF World Tour; each had one title to their credit this year but the lot of being the runner up was the more popular finish.
Hina Hayata had won earlier in the year in Kuwait when she beat colleague Honoka Hashimoto in the final but in Hungary, Qatar and Germany she had concluded proceedings on the second step of the podium. In Hungary she had been beaten by Yui Hamamoto, likewise in Germany it was defeat at the hands of a colleague, she lost to Miyu Kato.
Also in 2015 she had reached three finals, on all three occasions she had finished in runners up spot. In Australia and the Philippines once again a compatriot had been her nemesis; in Germany it had been the host nation’s Petrissa Solja.
Meanwhile, for Doo Hoi Kem, her one title had also accrued in Kuwait, in 2015, just as she had done in the first round in Doha, she beat Singapore’s Zeng Jian in the final.
However, on her other three visits to the final it had been defeat; in China she lost to Hitomi Sato; earlier this year in China she suffered at the hands of Zeng Jian, in Austria when confronting Japan’s Sakura Mori.
Very evenly match in terms of success on the 2016 ITTF World Tour, it was the same when comparing prior meetings.
At the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour German Open, competing in the Women’s Singles event, Doo Hoi Kem had prevailed; at the start of this year in Hungary at the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition the decision had gone in favour of Hina Hayata.
In Doha again it was success for Hina Hayata.