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Rising German Star Ousts Olympic Champion

Germany’s eighteen year old Dimitrij Ovtcharov was the player to cause the biggest surprise on the second day of play at the Volkswagen Open Japan in Chiba on Thursday 21st June 2007.

Bronze medallist in the World Junior Championships in December 2007, he beat the reigning Olympic Men’s Singles champion, Ryu Seung Min, in seven games in round two.

A surprise reverse for Ryu Seung Min and there was also a surprise in store for China’s Hao Shuai and Korea’s Lee Jung Woo in round one. Both lost to lower ranked opposition, the former to Italy’s Mihai Bobocica, the latter to India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta.

However, the moment of glory was short-lived; in round two Mihai Bobocica was beaten by Singapore’s Yang Zi whilst Sharath Kamal Achanta lost to China’s Ma Long.

One round later, in addition to the success of Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Singapore’s Gao Ning beat China’s Chen Qi, the number five seed; the victory underlines the progress that Gao Ning has made in 2007; one month earlier he won the Men’s Singles title at the Commonwealth Championships in India.

Four unexpected results but there was nothing unexpected when it came to the efforts of the top four seeds. The Chinese trio of Ma Lin, Wang Liqin and Wang Hao plus Korea’s Oh Sang Eun all progressed successfully.

Similarly, in the Women’s Singles event the top four seeds progressed unhindered. The Chinese quartet of Zhang Yining, Wang Nan, Guo Yan and Guo Yue all came through successfully without due alarm.

The progress of the World’s top four players was as expected but two players who came through the qualification stage did excel. Korea’s Lee Eun Hee beat Germany’s Elke Wosik and Japan’s Sayaka Hirano whilst Japan’s Ai Fujinuma overcame Croatia’s Tamara Boros and Singapore’s Sun Bei Bei.

Meanwhile, in the doubles events matters went according to seeding with one exception. The second seeds in the Women’s Doubles event, Hong Kong’s Tie Yana and Zhang Rui lost to Japan’s Haruna Fukuoka and Mikie Tasei.

However, for the top seeds in the Women’s Doubles, reigning Olympic and World champions, Wang Nan and Zhang Yining, there were no problems.

Similarly, in the Men’s Doubles, number one seeds, China’s Chen Qi and Wang Liqin reached the quarter-final with ease as did second seeds, China’s Ma Lin and Wang Hao.
Ian Marshall ITTF

Artikel vom 29.06.2007, 15:20 Uhr

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