Silver for Robert GARDOS and Luxembourg’s pairingsPhoto: ITTF
ITTF Challenge Spanish Open
Korea’s KIM Minhyeok he won the Men’s Singles title in Spain. In the final of the Men’s Singles at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Guadalajara he beat Austria’s Robert GARDOS, the no.2 seed, in five games (11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 14-12)
Stay close to the table, attack quickly, especially from the backhand was the tactic required by Robert GARDOS against KIM Minhyeok, who preferred to extol his skills from the so-called, half distance. Robert GARDOS won the second game but with Kim Minhyeok always the favorite in forehand top spin rallies, the third and fourth games both went to the 21 year old Korean.
In the final of the Women’s Singles Event Japan’s Saki SHIBATA, the no.5 seed beat colleague Hitiomi SATO, the top seed, in six games (11-5, 11-9, 11-6, 13-15, 6-11, 11-7). Success for Saki SHIBATA meant that she departed Guadalajara the most successful player in the whole tournament; the previous day she had won the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, beating Korea’s KIM Youjin in the final (11-2, 11-8, 11-6).
Meanwhile, for Kim Minhyeok, it was the end of a long journey. He had started his quest for honors four days earlier in the qualification tournament; overall he played eight matches to secure the title. Partnering CHO Eonrae, the duo, having likewise started their campaign in the qualification tournament, finished in runners up spot in the Men’s Doubles event. On the concluding day of play, they were beaten at the final hurdle by colleagues An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin, the top seeds (11-8, 11-9, 11-3, 11-4).
Success for CHO Seungmin and like Saki SHIBATA, he departed Guadalajara with two titles to his name; the previous day, he had won the Under 21 Men’s Singles title beating Germany’s Tobias HIPPLER in the final (11-9, 11-6, 11-4).
Meanwhile, for Hitomi Sato, there was a degree of consolation, partnering Honoka Hashimoto and occupying the top seeded position in the competition the duo won the Women’s Doubles title, the opening contest on the concluding day’s schedule. In the title deciding contest they overcame Luxembourg’s Sarah de NUTTE and NI Xialian (11-8, 11-7, 11-4).