Korea Open: Kobe Runner Up Progresses
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Kim Minhyeok

Kobe Runner Up Progresses but Winner Suffers More Agonies in Incheon

Kobe Runner Up Progresses but Winner Suffers More Agonies in Incheon
Courtesy of ITTF

Silver medalist some seven days earlier in Kobe, Masaki Yoshida duly progressed to the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Korea Open in Incheon on Thursday July 2nd.

The no.2 seed, he accounted for Tristan Flore of France (14-16, 16-14, 12-10, 11-8), before recording a quarterfinal success against colleague Kohei Sambe, the no.6 seed (14-12, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8). Success for Masaki Yoshida but for the player against whom he had suffered defeat on home soil in the Kobe final, it was a different story.

Quarterfinal Defeat
Yuya Oshima, also from Japan and the no.3 seed in Incheon, after recording an opening round win against Sweden’s Hampus Soderlund (11-7, 11-7, 11-5), was beaten in the round of the last eight by the host nation’s Kim Minhyeok, the no.7 seed.

Kim Minyheok, the winner of the Boys’ Singles title at the 2014 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals, succeeded in a most impressive manner; he won in three straight games (11-8, 11-5, 12-10).

Feeling Numb
“Going into the match, I did not think I had a chance of winning, as he has been playing so well recently”, said Kim Minhyeok. “I now feel numb; I don’t know what to say, I seriously can’t believe it.”

Another tournament, another week and Incheon has not proved a happy hunting ground for Yuya Oshima. Earlier in the day he was beaten in the second preliminary round of the Men’s Singles event by another Korean; he suffered defeat at the hands of Park Jeongwoo (11-6, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9).

“During the match I used a lot of varieties in my serve, this frustrated and confused him a lot, which put him off his game and allowed me to capitalize”, added Kim Minkyeok.

Top Two Depart
A surprise defeat for Yuya Oshima; there were also unexpected defeats for the two players who head the Race to Lisbon Under 21 Men’s Singles Standings.

Korea’s Kim Donhyun and Frenchman Benjamin Brossier both experienced unexpected defeats.

Bangkok Champion Causes Upset
Kim Donghyun, the top seed, after accounting for Japan’s Misuki Oikawa by the very narrowest of margins in a full distance encounter (12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9), was beaten one round later by the latter’s colleague, Asuka Machi, the no.5 seed and the winner last December of the Under 21 Men’s Singles title at the prestigious GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Bangkok.

Asuka Machi emerged successful in four games (11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7).

Euphoria Short-Lived
Defeat at the quarterfinal stage for Kim Donghyun, it was defeat one round earlier for Benjamin Brossier. The no.8 seed, he was beaten in the opening round by the host nation’s Cho Seungmin (11-6, 11-7, 13-11).

Alas for Cho Seungmin the euphoria was short lived; in the round of the last eight, he experienced defeat at the hands of colleague, Jang Woojin, the no.4 seed. He was beaten in a hard fought five games encounter (16-18, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7).

At the semi-final stage Asuka Machi plays Kim Minhyeok, Jang Woojin opposes Masaki Yoshida.

Play in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event concludes on Friday July 3rd.

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