2019 ITTF Challenger Plus Oman Open: Chinese Taipei pair bags mixed doubles gold
Top-seeded Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching of Chinese Taipei clinched the mixed doubles title on Saturday in the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC). Three of the seven titles at stake of the US$65,000 tournament were awarded on the penultimate day of the biggest table tennis event to be held in Oman.
Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching beat the surprise finalists Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova of Russia 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8. Earlier on Saturday, Japan’s Satsuki Odo claimed gold in the U21 women's singles as she beat India’s Archana Girish Kamath 11-7, 11-8, 11-6.
In the men's final of the U21 event, Vladimir Sidorenko defeated Artur Abusev in an all-Russian final 6-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-7. He became the first Russian to achieve the feat since the Challenge Series became separate from the ITTF World Tour, which had four Russians taking the U21 men's honours.
Ahead of the final day's action, the president of the ITTF, Thomas Weikert of Germany, arrived in Muscat. He attended the Saturday evening's proceedings and also handed over the trophies.
Meanwhile, in the men's singles quarterfinals on Saturday night, Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar upset No 2 seed Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei 14-12, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6.
However, Chuang's teammate and No 3 seed, Lin Yun-Ju, beat Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, the No 9 seed 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 to advance into semis. In the other last-eight matches, No 1 seeded Sweden’s Mattias Falck, overcame Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan, the No 19 seed 11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 while India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Frenchman Emmanuel Lebesson 11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10.
And in the women's singles, top-seeded Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching overcame Japan's Honoka Hashimoto 3-11, 14-12, 4-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 in the quarterfinals. The other three semis spot were claimed by Japanese girls - second-seeded Miu Hirano, Hitomi Sato (No 3) and Hina Hayata (No 9).