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Croatian success continues but Hong Kong centre stage

The opening day of action in the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena in Doha had belonged to Tomislav Pucar; on the morning of the second day, Wednesday 21st February, the Croatian continued his winning ways but centre stage was reserved by Hong Kong.

Doo Hoi Kem and Minnie Soo Wai Yam alongside Lam Siu Hang all emerged successful in their respective Under 21 Women’s Singles and Under 21 Men’s Singles semi-final encounters.

Lam Siu Hang in impressive form (Photo: Hussein Sayed)

Most impressively Doo Hoi Kem and Minnie Soo Wai Yam led the way; both ending the hopes of Japan, recording results that underline recent progress.

The top seed in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, Doo Hoi Kem beat Saki Shibata, the no.4 seed, in three straight games (11-8, 11-6, 11-5); soon after Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the no.6 seed, ended the hopes of Kyoka Kato, the no.8 seed.

Likewise Minnie Soo Wai Yam won in straight games but the third game was a testing experience; she trailed 8-10 before eventually saving three game points to secure victory (11-8, 11-7, 13-11).

Notably Doo Hoi Kem and Saki Shibata had met twice previously in ITTF World Tour Under 21 Women’s Singles events in 2016, they met in Kuwait and in Hungary. On both occasions Doo Hoi Kem had won but always in five games. The win in Doha was far more comprehensive.


“Both times when I have played Saki Shibata it has been three-two; in those matches I played too safe, today I was more positive, I played faster”, Doo Hoi Kem