TABLE TENNIS Preview: Japan and Korea expected to top Asarael Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte

Japan's Tomokazu Harimoto (Photo: ITTFWorld)

With a very limited entry of Chinese players – who won three of the four titles available last year – the door is open for Japanese and Korean teams to shine at the Asarael Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte. The top seeds:

1. Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN: 4)
2. Dimiitrij Ovtcharov (GER: 11)
3. Koki Niwa (JPN: 12)

1. Kwan Kit Ho/Chun Ting Wong (HKG)
2. Youngsik Jeong/Sangsu Lee (KOR)
3. Chien-An Chen/Chih-Yuan Chuang (TPE)

1. Kasumi Ishikawa (JPN: 6)
2. Mima Ito (JPN: 7)
3. Miu Hirano (JPN: 9)

1. Jihee Jeon/Haeun Yang (KOR)
2. Miyuu Kihara/Miyu Nagasaki (JPN)
3. Barbora Balasova (SVK)/Hana Matelova (CZE)

Mixed Doubles:
1. Sangsu Lee/Jihee Jeon (KOR)
2. Stefan Fegerl/Sofia Polcanova (AUT)
3. Tomokazu Harimoto/Kasumi Ishikawa (JPN)

None of last year’s winners are entered in 2019; this is the first of five straight tournaments in Europe, leading to the Grand Final at the end of the season in December.

The season has been completely dominated by China, which through seven events has won 28 of the 35 events. However, the Korean men’s Doubles team of Jeong and Lee are coming off of their first victory of the season in the Australian Open last month.

Look for results here.