Today kicked off with the completion of the double elimination group stage leaving just 32 players remaining. There were no real surprises from the double elimination favoured players getting through to the single elimination stage which features 32 players.
The draw was not so kind for two former world champions, Han Yu (CHN) and Kelly Fisher (GBR) drawn against each other in the first round. Han Yu has a world ranking of 3 and Kelly Fisher 8. Playing on the television table, both players produced some high quality play and it was sad to know that only one of them would remain in the tournament. In a tensely fought out battle it was Han Yu who prevailed and advanced to the last 16. Another thriller was between the two Filipinos, world number 7 Rubelin Amit and world number 9 Chezka Centeno. These two players slogged it out going rack to rack with Centeno finally getting in 9/8. Centeno is one of the up and coming stars, a left-hander she is a real delight to watch with her free and easy style and no messing about attitude.
Two other Brits, Allison Fisher and Karen Corr also drew against each other. Karen has recently acquired a USA passport and now competes under the stars and stripes. It was real test of wills, both players very cautious as they are well aware of each others ability, but Karen found the finishing line first 9/6. Unfortunately the bubble burst for the youngster from Chinese Taipei, world junior champion Jia-Hua Chen, but not without a fight, losing 8/9 to Tan Hui Ming. Another former world champion got through to the final 16, Yuan-Chun Lin of Chinese Taipei when she defeated Sun Danhong 9/7 in another high quality battle.
Another impressive performance came from world number 4, Chinese Taipei’s consistent Chou Chieh-Yu who had a comfortable win over Kateryna Polovinchuk of the Ukraine 9/2. One player travelling under the radar is China’s Jiang Teng who had a solid performance defeating Korean Solid Choi. Jiang is one to keep an eye on, a dark horse selection.
One of the favourites for title is world number 2 China’s Chen Siming, had a convincing win over Ji Won Hyun of Korea 9/2. But the best performance today belonged to Korean Kim Gayoung against Ho-Yun Chen of Chinese Taipei. After trailing 1/6, Kim then found another gear and played flawlessly to runout the winner 9/7.
Play gets underway tomorrow at 1.00 pm local Chinese time. We will see the Last 16, Quarter-finals & Semi-finals played, a gruelling day for those who get through with just the play-off for 3rd and 4th place on Friday, followed by the final.
The winner of this world championship will gain automatic entry into the 2017 World Games being played in Wroclaw, Poland 24-31 July 2017.